Ohio judge to rule in basement girl case

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio judge has heard three days of testimony in the case of a couple accused of locking a 12-year-old stepdaughter in the basement for weeks for discipline.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports (http://cin.ci/W9XjHk ) that a ruling could be made in the nonjury Butler County trial Friday.

Joanna Blackston and husband Shawn Blackston are charged with child endangering. Forty-year-old Shawn Blackston is the girl's father and 37-year-old Joanna is her stepmother.

The Blackstons were arrested in July after authorities said they found the girl in the basement, dirty and underweight. She testified Tuesday she was locked in the basement, denied food and punished with cold showers.

Joanna Blackston testified the girl needed discipline, and that the door was locked to keep toddlers in the home from falling down stairs.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

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