New details in 'demon' beating allegations

April 8, 2009 4:37:31 AM PDT
We have new details about a mother and father accused of trying to exorcise a demon out of their son. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Their three-year-old son was severely beaten and now, one witness is giving clues into what happened.

Phung Tran showed little emotion as she was lead into the courtroom Tuesday for her first court appearance. The Harris County mother and her husband, Jackie Tran, are charged with brutally beating their son, all allegedly to cleanse his soul.

"As we discussed in probable cause, to get the demons out of the younger child," said assistant District Attorney Darin Darby.

The shocking claim is being made by the boy's own sibling. His six-year-old sister, as stated in probable cause, has told authorities that she witnessed the beating, claiming that both parents participated, using a combination of tools.

"She witnessed both this defendant and her father, the co-defendant in this case, beating her younger sibling with their hands, with a bamboo stick and also using chopsticks to poke the child's feet," said Darby.

The alleged beating happened this past Saturday at the couple's west Harris County home. A deputy responding to an alarm call, reportedly witnessed through a second story window a man yelling and striking down. A child's cry could also be heard.

When investigators entered the home, they found the three-year-old with serious injuries to his face and head. Authorities say he was with his mother in the bathtub. She reportedly said she was trying to wash the demons out of him.

Both the three-year-old and his six-year-old sister have been placed in CPS custody. The Trans both face injury to a child charges.

If released on bond, which is set at $100,000, Tran cannot have contact with her kids. The three-year-old still remains in the hospital. The six-year-old is in a foster home. Authorities are still investigating whether she suffered any abuse.

If convicted, both parents could face up to life in prison. We did try to reach Tran's attorney Tuesday, but we have not heard back from him.

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