A formerly homeless mother battling for custody of her child with Down syndrome was described as neglectful, abusive, a shoplifter and a hoarder by her estranged older daughter in court Tuesday.
Sandra Kohler, 39, testified that her mother, Renee Arnold, beat her when she was a child and neglected to take her to the doctor even though she suffered seizures.
“I helped her shoplift when I was a child,” Kohler said in court. “It didn’t occure to me until later on that I was exploited.”
Davidson County Probate Judge Randy Kennedy kept the court hearing going until 9 p.m. But with a dozen more potential witnesses, Kennedy said the case would resume on July 25.
The custody battle over Lisa Arnold, 20, who has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old, started in January after a group of good Samaritans filed a court petition stating concerns over her safety.
Renee Arnold, also known as Renate Arnold, and her disabled daughter peddled The Contributor, a publication written and sold by the homeless and formerly homeless, at the Brentwood exit off of Interstate 65 and at other locations.
The court granted conservatorship of Lisa Arnold to Belinda Mitchell, a caseworker with The Arc of Davidson County, a nonprofit that helps the disabled.
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