According to charges filed in Yellowstone County District Court, a Billings couple starved, burned, and tied up their preschool-aged son with rope and duct tape. reports that 49-year-old Cornelius Mitchell and his 40-year-old wife, Julie, are charged with two counts of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, three counts of assault on a minor and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.  The abuse is alleged to have begun in October 2014, when the boy was 3 years old.

The couple took their son to a Billings hospital in February for seizures, when hospital staff noted that the boy was dangerously thin and had bruises, scabs and injury marks all over his body.  His body temperature was a hypothermic 93 degrees. When asked about the boy’s injuries, the Mitchells claimed that he did it to himself.