Oklahoma woman charged in child abuse not recognized as state foster parent

Deidre Anne Matthews, 46, of Jay, is charged in Delaware County District Court with three counts of child abuse by injury, child endangerment and child neglect.
By Sheila Stogsdill, For The Oklahoman Published: April 7, 2014
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— A Delaware County woman charged with multiple counts of child abuse — including not seeking treatment when her children were injured by pet monkeys — was not a state-recognized foster parent, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services said Monday.

Deidre Anne Matthews, 46, of Jay, is charged in Delaware County District Court with three counts of child abuse by injury, child endangerment and child neglect. She was being held in jail Monday in lieu of $100,000 bail.

“The public perception is that DHS placed these children with them,” DHS spokeswoman Sheree Powell said. “These children were not placed in the home by DHS.”

The children living with Matthews were eight girls ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old and a 10-year-old boy, authorities said.

Powell said Jerry and Deidre Matthews were foster parents from 2003-06. The couple is now separated, Delaware County authorities said.

“She is not a foster parent through the state agency,” Powell said.

Deidre Matthews is the adoptive mother of the 17-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl, according to a court affidavit.

Dressed in orange jail clothes, Deidre Matthews appeared in court on Monday by a closed-circuit camera and asked for a public defender.

Charges woman faces

She is accused of failing to seek medical attention for the two teen daughters, who were bitten by a monkey several times; failing to protect one child from assaults by another child; driving under the influence of medication; and failing to provide proper care for the nine children, according to court records.

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