The crazed father and stepmother who pull horrific pranks on their children on their DaddyOFive YouTube channel may be facing up to five years in prison after being hit with child neglect charges for their controversial jokes.
According to court records issued last month, Frederick County prosecutors charged Heather Martin and Michael Martin with two counts of neglect of a minor.
They were accused of neglecting their youngest children, Emma, 12, and Cody, 9, since 2016, for which they each face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
“We love our kids. They’re the most important thing in the world to us. We made poor parenting choices by portraying ourselves this way. But we are not bad people,” Heather said to ABC.
The videos show the duo playing dark pranks on the kids, many of which people have found extremely abusive. A common trend is that both Michael and Heather scream at the young children until they break down and cry.
After much backlash over the violent videos, Heather and Michael took to YouTube to apologize for their pranks, claiming that the clips are actually scripted.
“It started out as family fun. It started with me and my kids… They would get excited when they would get a lot of views,” Martin claimed. “You know, it was more for shock value. We were going for shock value.”
While the couple has reached a plea agreement, their lawyer, Stephen Tully, told the Frederick News Post, that he is not ready to comment further as of yet.
Apart from receiving complaints from the public, the couple was bashed by Rose Hall, the children’s biological mother, who went to court in order to obtain emergency custody of her kids “so that they would be safe.”
The Martins lost custody of Emma and Cody this past April after much criticism over the violent videos.
It’s “very heartbreaking and disturbing” to see the videos, Hall says in a YouTube video she posted with her attorney, Tim Conlon, back in April.
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