Grandmother of Tramelle Sturgis accused of failing to report - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Updated: Grandmother of Tramelle Sturgis accused of failing to report abuse on several occasions


The St. Joseph County Prosecutors Office announced charges Wednesday against Dellia Castille, the mother of Terry Sturgis. 

Castile is charged with three counts of neglect of a dependent, a class B felony.

Terry Sturgis is charged with murder in the beating death of his son, Tramelle Sturgis. 

According to court documents Castille "admitted that she remembered at least ten times that Sturgis said he was going to 'whoop' the kids."

Sturgis lived in the basement of a house his mother rented on Washington St. with his five children. Castille and four of her grandchildren, cousins to Sturgis' children, resided on the second floor of the house.

The Affidavit in Support of Probably Cause in the case against Castille also says she "ultimately admitted that she would give Sturgis money or provide other incentives to get him to stop beating the children."

One of the surviving children in the case, a sibling of the Tramelle Sturgis, told investigators that Castille knew Sturgis burned the children with a "torch made of roach spray and a lighter." The child told investigators that after the burning, Castille would put "cocoa butter on those burns."

The report says Sturgis burned the children with a clothes iron on their legs and stomachs. And days prior to the death of Tramelle, the father heated a screw driver and burned Tramelle with it on the torso and genitals. An inspection of the bodies of the children confirmed the injuries, both old and new.

Court documents also say Tramelle's sibling told a forensic interviewer that in once instance of abuse "Castille yelled down to Sturgis, 'stop it, you're going to kill them' and that Sturgis yelled back, 'the kids are going to kill me by making me do this.'"

The Affidavit says "either law enforcement or the Department of Child Services investigated complaints of child abuse involving Sturgis and his children.  At no time, did Castille ever report to either agency that the children were being abused."

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