Sunday, September 24, 2000

Girl put in state custody

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — In June, the 12-year-old was mauled by a pack of dogs; now she is cast into a custody dispute and has become a ward of the state.

        Heather Jarvis is still undergoing medical treatment for the dog attack. She was hospitalized for weeks.

        Her mother and father, who are not married, have both claimed that the other is trying to benefit from a civil lawsuit filed over Heather's attack.

        Heather's father, Robert Slaven, filed an emergency request for custody, claiming her mother, Jennifer Harmon, wanted to discontinue medical treatment and move the girl back to a mobile home. Mr. Slaven also accused her of dipping into a $4,000 account set up to benefit their daughter.

        But Ms. Harmon has argued that Mr. Slaven has come forward only in the hopes of cashing in on Heather's civil lawsuit. She pointed out that Mr. Slaven served 13 months in Florida in 1987 on charges related to second-degree murder.

        On Friday, Circuit Court Judge Lewis Paisley ordered that Heather be turned over to the state's Cabinet for Families and Children, WTVQ-TV reported Friday.


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