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Parents Arrested In Child Abuse Case

Dave Dunwoody

An Escambia County couple is behind bars, facing numerous charges in the alleged abuse of three of their children.

An Escambia County couple is behind bars, facing numerous charges in the alleged abuse of three of their children.

“There are many things as law enforcement that we don’t take lightly, and of course child abuse is at the top of that list,” said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.

Investigators on Tuesday received a call from the Department of Children and Families in reference to the kids. A search warrant was executed at the Cantonment home of 48-year-old Jeffery Linton, and his 34-year-old wife Rachel.

“There were nine children total in this home,” Morgan said. “Eight of the children biologically attached to Mrs. Linton; one to Jeffrey Linton. The case itself involves only three of those nine children.”

DCF has removed the other six children from the Linton home.

Jeffery Linton is charged with three counts each of aggravated child abuse and cruelty toward a child. Total bond: $1.5 million. Rachel Linton is accused of child abuse and child neglect. Her bond was set at $900,000.

Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille says the Lintons made their first court appearance on Wednesday, when their bonds were set. Arraignment for both is set for June 16, at which time they’re expected to enter pleas of not guilty.

“At that time, our office will be filing the formal charges that we intend to proceed in this matter,” said Marcille. “We will review the information that the Sheriff’s Office provides us; we will talk to any witnesses that are necessary, and we’ll file the charges we feel are appropriate at that time.”

Assistant State Attorney Ann Patterson – who is attached to Gulf Coast Kids’ House – will lead a special team of prosecutors in this case. Patterson attended the news conference, but did not speak.

While not giving specifics, Sheriff David Morgan explained why he thinks this child abuse case stands out among the others.

“Just the extent of the injuries, and I really can’t say much more than that, Morgan said. “The photos reviewed by the investigators are heart-wrenching. It’s one of those things that brings tears to your eyes, to think that a child would be treated in this manner.”

The investigation is continuing.