UPDATE: Mom on trial for child abuse is found guilty of two counts of first degree child abuse

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The jury found Tina Harbert guilty of two counts of first degree child abuse.

The jury deliberated for two hours and sentencing is set for October 25.

JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – There was a shocking decision Tuesday afternoon from a Jackson County father on trial for child abuse.

6 News was there as James Harbert admitted to abusing his children and pleaded guilty.

This was a big shock to everyone in the courtroom.

Day one in the trial of James and Tina Harbert was supposed to be a day full of testimony until the bombshell dropped.

James Harbert stopped the court proceedings to plead guilty to three counts of child abuse and admitted to abusing his two sons.

Harbert entered the plea during a break in one of his son’s testimony, saying he didn’t want to make his children go through the emotional testimony.

The 12 year old boy told the court about the severe beatings he’d get from his parents with 2×4 wooden boards, pipes, and dog leashes.

One beating was so bad he spent 11 days in the hospital.

The parents, who are from Spring Arbor Township, were arrested nearly two years ago after the boys’ grandparents noticed the abuse.

The trial against James Harbert is now over.

But the case against Tina Harbert continues.

“Tina Harbert not only did nothing to help her boys, she lied to medical professionals about their injuries. She covered it up. And she participated in beating the boys,” said Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Katie Hawkins.

During testimony, her son claimed that while she wasn’t as rough on him as his father, she didn’t do anything to stop the abuse.

Her defense says Tina Harbert was a victim, too.

The defense said in opening statements that she was under the control of her husband and was forced to abuse them.

James Hartbert will be back in court October 25th for sentencing.

Tina Harbert’s trial is still going on and will be taking place all week.


JACKSON, Mich – There has been a startling twist in the trial of a Spring Arbor couple accused of severely beating their two sons.

James and Tina Harbert are both facing first degree child abuse charges.

During testimony from one of the sons today James Harbert pleaded guilty to the three child abuse charges against him.

He said he didn’t want his children to go through the emotional testimony.

He admitted in court to abusing and injuring them.

Harbert will be sentenced October 26.

Meanwhile the child abuse abuse case against his ex-wife, the children’s mother, will continue.

6 News Jackson bureau reporter Aaron Dimick is inside the courtroom and will update this developing story online and on 6 News.

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