Grand jury indicts Accomack woman accused of keeping children in cages

Malista Ness-Hopkins (Photo courtesy: Accomack County Sheriff's Office)

ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A grand jury has indicted an Accomack County woman who is accused of keeping children in makeshift cages.

Malista Ness-Hopkins is facing five counts of abuse and neglect.

Authorities said she kept two of her five young children in makeshift cages, and all of them lived in a home full of trash, rotting food and fleas.

Accomack County Social Services worker Kate Bonniwell testified in court earlier this year that two of Ness-Hopkins’ children were caged inside of cribs.

According to Bonniwell, it took her more than 20 minutes to remove a rail from another crib that had been screwed on top. “The children didn’t act like normal children,” she testified.

A grand jury indicted her on the charges this week. Stay with WAVY.com for updates to this story.