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Family feels Snell shouldn't be charged

Posted at 10:40 PM, Jan 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-24 23:40:41-05

TULSA- The family of two people in jail for child neglect are speaking out Sunday as they clean their father's home.

 Krystal Penhiero and her father Lee Snell were each charged with child neglect after fire broke out in their home last Friday. Firefighters found 4 children – all under the age of 10 – home alone.

 

Snell's family did not want their identities shown on camera, but they say the past week has been an emotional one.

 

They say they've spent the past few days cleaning out the house and looking for anything that can be salvageable. The family says they don't believe 63-year-old Snell should be charged with child neglect because unlike Penhiero, he wasn't the legal guardian of these children.

 

But police say Snell knew they were home alone and that's why he was charged. His family says they won't stop fighting for him.

 

“With these charges and working at the same job for 30 years, he's possibly looking at the chance of losing that job just because you know, he made a wrong choice,” said one family member.

 

Cleaning up the home has become a bigger chore than expected.

 

The City of Tulsa has now posted a demolition order saying they will come and inspect it in the next few weeks. Most of the cleaning will need to be done by then.

 

But police say the house was in pretty bad shape to begin with. According to the booking report, detectives say they also saw deplorable conditions inside the home, including an unsanitary bathroom and items stacked to the ceiling.

Meanwhile, the family says Snell might've made a bad decision, but they hope he can walk free sooner than later.

 

“He always figured if he had it, what's the point in going and getting it or having to worry about it. So some things he did have, but for them to straight say the house was a disaster...I disagree,” said the family member.

 

The owner of the property says he's been helping clean up the house as well.

 

As for the children that were home during the fire, the family says they are still in the custody of DHS. 

 

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