By Patti Weaver

  (Stillwater, Okla.)  — A Perkins couple, who were foster parents, have been accused of abusing two boys, ages 4 and 5, three months after they adopted them.
    Brittany Luv Edwards, 30, has been charged with choking the boys and hitting or failing to protect them from being hit with a belt that caused injuries.
    John Wayne Edwards, 35, has been charged with failing to protect the boys from being strangled and hitting or failing to protect them from being hit with a belt.
    The couple were arrested at their residence on March 25 by Perkins police and charged with four counts of child abuse each, court records show.
    They were freed from the Payne County Jail on $5,000 bail each with an order to appear in court on May 2 when they can seek a preliminary hearing.
    An investigation began on March 23 when Perkins Police Officer Shane Dean was sent to the elementary school to speak to a Department of Human Services worker, who saw marks on the face and neck of a 5-year-old boy, according to his affidavit.
    The 5-year-old told the DHS worker that he got in trouble with his foster parents, Brittany and John Edwards, the affidavit alleged. The DHS worker said that the couple had adopted three children in December of 2021, the affidavit said.
    The 5-year-old said, “John hit him in the face with a belt,” the affidavit alleged. The 5-year-old said, “a little while later, Brittany came into his bedroom and choked him,” the affidavit alleged. The DHS worker saw that the 5-year-old had a mark on his right cheek and marks on his neck, the affidavit alleged.
    The 5-year-old said, “he received a spanking on his buttocks with a belt,” but could not remember exactly when and thought it might have been the previous night, the affidavit alleged.
    Less than an hour later, the Perkins officer and the DHS worker went to the couple’s residence, where the couple denied the allegations, the affidavit said.
    Asked if anyone could take the 5-year-old to the Saville Center in Stillwater for a medical exam, John Edwards said that no one was available, so the Perkins officer took the child into protective custody at the elementary school and transported him there, the affidavit said.
    At the Saville Center, a nurse said there was evidence of strangulation and physical abuse of the 5-year-old, who said that the same thing happened to his 4-year-old brother, the affidavit alleged. The DHS worker said that emergency custody was granted for both boys as well as a 9-year-old in the home, the affidavit said.
    At the Saville Center, the nurse said there was also evidence of strangulation and physical abuse of the 4-year-old boy, the affidavit alleged.
    When Brittany Edwards was interviewed in jail, she denied abusing the boys and said John Edwards might have spanked the boys, “but she does not know because she never saw or heard anything,” the affidavit said.
    When John Edwards was interviewed in the jail, he denied abusing the boys, the affidavit said. Asked how they would have gotten the injuries, “John said he did not know but could have come from the 9-year-old,” who he claimed was violent to the younger boys, the affidavit alleged.