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The dad and stepmother of the 12-year-old boy found last month in his Detroit basement after 11 days asked for a jury trial Thursday to keep their parental rights. In addition to 12-year-old Charlie Bothuell V, Monique Dillard-Bothuell and Charlie Bothuell IV have a 4-year-old and an 11-month-old, and Thursday's court appearance was a continuation of a July 10 hearing to terminate their parental rights for all three children. A pretrial hearing was set for July 28.

The couple is accused of abusing the boy, but have not been charged with a crime. According to the state, Charlie Bothuell IV has admitted to hitting his son with a PVC pipe. During the investigation, the younger children have been living with their grandmother, and Charlie has been living with his mom. The parents are allowed supervised visits with their two youngest kids, but no visitation rights have been granted for seeing Charlie. "He's doing the best he can," Charlie Bothuell IV's attorney, Stephanie Carson, said of her client after the hearing. "We want the trial to move forward."


—Alan Cohen and Elizabeth Chuck