Liberian sisters' custody remains in Major County court

Prosecutors in Major County aim to sever the parental rights of a Fairview couple who adopted five-Liberian-born sisters, and were convicted of abusing one of the girls
BY ANN KELLEY Modified: November 23, 2010 at 7:49 am •  Published: November 23, 2010
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Prosecutors are seeking to end the parental rights of a Fairview couple who adopted five Liberian-born sisters and were convicted of abusing one of the girls.

At a closed hearing Monday in Major County District Court, Ardee and Penny Tyler asked for a jury to decide the child welfare case. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 24.

The couple were convicted in February of abusing the second-oldest girl, who now lives in Illinois with relatives. Their son, Ashton Tyler, 20, is in prison for sexually assaulting the girl, now 15. Her Liberian sisters have been in foster homes since April.

Local prosecutors and the state attorney general's office Monday requested the parental rights of the couple be terminated.

Defense attorney Ron Willis said the Tylers are passionate about their fight to regain custody of the girls.

“They're willing to do what it takes,” Willis said. “They love their children.”

The four girls, ages 5 to 16, are in two foster homes. The Tylers are no longer allowed to have supervised visits with their daughters because it was counterproductive to the children's counseling, sources close to the case told The Oklahoman.

Attorney Melvin Johnson has accused the Tylers of brainwashing the girls and turning them against their sister who made the abuse accusations. Johnson, of Atlanta and Liberian-born, volunteered last year to be the children's attorney.


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by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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