Mom remains silent in BB gun abuse case

Colleen Stytle
Colleen Stytle

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A Warren woman had nothing to say Tuesday during or after a pre-trial hearing in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on why she allowed her five children to be shot with a BB gun in exchange for cigarettes.

Coleen Stytle, 29, remains at the Trumbull County Jail on $50,000 bond and is due back in court next month. She is facing four counts of third-degree felony child endangering, four counts of complicity to child endangering, five counts of first-degree misdemeanor child endangering and one count of complicity to falsification. The charges say she abused the girls, ages 11 and 9, four times; the boys, ages 7 and 5, three times; and a 3-year-old girl once.

Officials said Stytle would allow people to use her children for BB gun target practice in exchange for cigarettes. Reporter Jeff Levkulich confronted Stytle outside the courtroom following the hearing.

“Coleen why did you let those men shoot your kids with the gun? Do you have anything to say? Do you have anything to say to your children?,” Levkulich asked her.

But Stytle, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffed, remained silent.

She and two other men, Robert Branch, 25, and Joseph Boone, 25, both also of Warren, are accused of torturing the five children between January and February of this year at a home on Larchmont Avenue N.E. They were charged Aug. 29 n a 25-count secret indictment, which was unsealed last week once the trio was arrested.

Branch was charged with four counts of third-degree felony child abuse for one act each against the 11, 9, 7 and 5 year old. And Boone was charged with four felony child abuse counts, one against each of the same children allegedly abused by Branch, and three more counts of misdemeanor child endangering against the 11, 9 and 7 year old.

Officers were called to the home in February, but it is unknown if that is when the abuse was uncovered. The Trumbull County Children’s Services Board was brought in to investigate the case.

Branch has posted bond, but Boone also remains in jail.

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