Texas parents get custody of kids living in bus

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm •  Published: January 22, 2013
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Sherrie Shorten and her husband also have been fulfilling a care plan and attending counseling and therapy. The family was reunited last September under CPS watch, and still lives on the bus.

John Lockwood, an assistant attorney general and counsel for Child Protective Services, told Winfree that authorities recommended "strongly" the case against the couple be dismissed.

"We're happy to say they are safe and their needs are met," Lockwood said.

Without the dismissal, the Shortens had faced a trial that could have resulted in the children being moved to foster care or being placed under long-term monitoring by the state.

The recommendation for dismissal had been anticipated, then reversed late Monday in what Child Protective Services officials described as a miscommunication, and then reversed again.

"Things just got a little sidetracked," Mark Shorten said. "Usual bureaucracy, one hand not talking with the other."

Branson said, "I'm happy this day finally came but I'm also frustrated it took so long to get here."

Sherrie Shorten was released a few weeks after the children were placed in foster care. Her husband was released in July. They're both on supervised federal release for three years and facing more than $100,000 in court-ordered restitution. Mark Shorten said the convictions were unwarranted but is moving forward.