A Joshua Tree couple who was charged with felony child abuse had those charges reduced by a San Bernardino county judge. The pair were arrested back in February after San Bernardino County deputies found them and their children living in squalid conditions in a makeshift plywood shelter.
Daniel Panico and Mona Kirk are now charged with misdemeanor child endangerment according to court records. Both parents were in court on Wednesday and pleaded 'Not Guilty' to the charges.
Friends of the couple were outraged over their arrest, saying they were being punished for being poor. The couple's children are still reportedly under the care of Child Protective Services.
San Bernadino county sheriff deputies were patrolling a remote area of Joshua Tree back in January when they stumbled on the makeshift shelter on property filled with debris and trash. The property had a deteriorated trailer and was surrounded by feces, abandoned vehicles, trash and stray animals.
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