Morgantown couple arrested on child abuse and neglect charges have their day in court

Monongalia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A couple that was arrested in late February on charges of child abuse and neglect had their preliminary hearings in front of a magistrate on Tuesday morning.

Ricky Lake talking to his lawyer

Nickolle, 31, and Ricky, 30, Lake are accused of abusing Nickolle’s three biological children after four different Child Protective Services were filed between Jan. 6-22. The girls were reported to have visible black eyes, a bruised abdomen and neck, being struck with belts. CPS even found that the girls were sometimes forcefully confined in a room without being granted access to a bathroom for long periods of time.

Ricky Lake was the first to appear before the magistrate and his defense argued that there was no probable cause for taking his case to the grand jury. A Morgantown Police Department lieutenant was brought in by the prosecution and he testified about what had been reported by CPS that led to police involvement.

Lieutenant describes one of the abuses the children reported

Lake’s lawyer argued that there was a previous court ruling that he stay away from Nickolle and since there had been no violations filed the magistrate would have to rule that he could not have been involved in the abuse within the home.

Nickolle Lake talking to her lawyer

The defense also pleaded for his bond of $100,012, of which 10 percent was to be paid to the court, to be changed to $20,000. It was argued that Ricky was not at risk of fleeing or endangering the children since they are in protective custody.

However, the magistrate denied his request of a changed bond, citing his previous felonious conduct, and said there was probable cause to move the case forward to the grand jury.

As for Nickolle Lake, she did not contest that there was probable cause to move the case forward to the grand jury. She too requested a change of bond, which was also initially set at $100,012.

Her lawyer requested to change it to $50,000, of which 10 percent would go to the court, citing the fact that she had no priors. The magistrate agreed and changed her bond.

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