Three of the four suspects in a Missouri child homicide case appeared in court Tuesday morning.
James Mast, 28, Mary Mast, 29, Kourtney Aumen, 21, and Ethan Mast, 35, (no relation) were arrested Dec. 24. for the killing of 4-year-old Jessica Mast. Ethan Mast did not appear in court because he does not have a lawyer.
Jessica Mast was found dead at home in Lincoln, Missouri, when her father, James Mast, called the police Dec. 20. According to ABC17 News, James and Mary informed the police that neighbors Aumen and Ethan had been abusing their family for two weeks prior to Jessica’s death.
Allegedly, Jessica was beaten and dunked in freezing water. Aumen and Ethan are also accused of beating James, Mary, and their 2-year-old son. According to ABC17 News, Aumen and Ethan convinced the family that they were plagued by a demon and that they would be punished by Satan if they tried to intervene.
Aumen and Ethan are charged with second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault and sexual abuse. According to ABC17 News, James and Mary are charged with several counts of child endangerment, to which they pleaded not guilty.
The Masts’ 2-year-old son, along with another young child, were placed into foster care.