Parents take plea deal

Schatzes plead guilty in daughter’s death

Paradise couple Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz will be spending a lot of time behind bars after pleading guilty to several counts related to the February 2010 death of their 7-year-old adopted daughter Lydia, who had been beaten with a piece of plumber’s tubing. One of her siblings was hospitalized for injuries and another—one of the Schatzes’ six biological children—showed signs of abuse as well.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey confirmed that Kevin pleaded guilty Friday (April 8) to second-degree murder, torture and misdemeanor cruelty to a child. Elizabeth pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, infliction of unlawful corporal punishment on a child with great bodily injury and misdemeanor cruelty to a child. Kevin faces 22 years to life, and Elizabeth faces 13 years behind bars. Sentencing is set for June 10.

“The Schatzes’ method of discipline was obviously just flat wrong and cruel,” Ramsey said, adding that their parental rights were terminated and the children are in foster care. “It’s a good outcome, particularly for the children, who do not have to testify.”