BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX/AP) — The adoptive mother of a southwestern Illinois boy who authorities say was forced by his stepfather to do over 1,000 push-ups and eat two screws as punishment is now charged with misdemeanor child endangerment.

Prosecutors in St. Clair county charged 39-year-old Lashawn Jennings on Saturday.

Her husband, James Jennings, already had been charged with aggravated battery, domestic battery and child endangerment. He’s jailed on $400,000 bond.

Police began investigating last week after the 12-year-old boy reported the alleged abuse to a nurse at an elementary school on Scott Air Force Base, where Lashawn Jennings is stationed.

The Belleville News Democrat reports that the boy was severely punished because he got crumbs on the floor after eating cookies. St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Steve Johnson told the News Democrat that James Jennings beat the boy with a wooden paddle, made him eat screws and forced him to do over 1,000 push-ups as punishment. KMOV-TV reports that X-rays showed the screws inside the boy’s stomach.

Authorities say Lashawn Jennings was in Florida at the time of her husband’s alleged misconduct. She is being held on $20,000 bail.

Online court records do not show whether the Jennings have an attorney.

KMOX has reached out to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. Justine Time says:

    This is so sad that people can hurt innocent children. Look at the mugshots. These people are evil and its written all over their faces. I know James personally and this does not surprise me at all. He’s a very manipulative person and is known for his angry, rude outbursts, especially when he can’t have his way. Karma has come back to get him and hopefully, him and his wife will be punished to the full extent of the law. Their both sick embarrassments to society and the U.S military.

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