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Prosecutor explains dropped charges in Port St. Lucie child neglect case

Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-26 07:30:08-04

There has been progress made at the Port St. Lucie home where officers discovered a teenager living in deplorable conditions.

Monday morning garbage trucks picked up and hauled away piles of furniture and trash 
from outside the Ladner Street home. 

“It seems like the emergency order that we issued on Friday kind of got the wheels turning here,” said Carmen Capezzuto, the Neighborhood Services Director.

While this takes care of most of the problems on the outside of the home, there is still a much bigger issue on the inside.

Capezzuto says foreclosure is still on the table. 

“We are proceeding with all available legal options that we can,” said Capezzuto. 

Meanwhile, on the criminal side, the parents accused of neglect for allowing a teenager to live in those conditions are no longer facing criminal charges.

The prosecutor on the case, ASA Michael Linn, told NewsChannel 5’s Alyssa Hyman that he was “not happy” about dropping the charges, but he was bound to follow the law.  

Linn said there simply wouldn’t be enough evidence to prove criminal intent, as required by the legal precedent. 

Meanwhile, neighbors, like Jay Beal, are just glad they are finally seeing progress.

“Vastly improved. It’s about time, a long time coming,” said Beal. “If the house is not livable, they need to tear it down. They need to start over.”

City officials say they plan to give update on the property to the city council in two weeks.