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Cumberland County Couple Charged With Abuse, Neglect

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — A mother accused of neglecting her children is speaking out after she and her boyfriend were arrested by Cumberland County sheriff's deputies Sunday.

Deputies arrested Christy Innes and her boyfriend, James Barnhill, late Sunday afternoon in a wooded area off Highway 301.

"He never hurt my kids before, neither of us have. I'm a good mom. I love my kids. I asked my kids if they were hurt by him. They said no," Innes said.

Barnhill is accused of beating Innes' two sons, ages 2 and 7. He was charged with felony child abuse with serious injury, misdemeanor child abuse and resistance, delay and obstruction. Barnhill is being held in the Cumberland County jail on a $250,000 secured bond.

Innes was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and accessory after the fact to felony child abuse. She is being held in the Cumberland County Jail on a $150,000 secured bond.

Innes said she does not believe Barnhill hurt her sons.

"I went to the hospital because my son had an injury. My 7-year-old said he hit his brother. I got to the hospital and police were called. Within a half hour my kids were taken from me and my boyfriend was charged with abuse," she said.

Innes said she fled to the woods with Barnhill to give her family time to get an attorney.

The children are staying with relatives.

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