Mother who took children to perform for Oregon militia loses custody of kids

A judge ruled Wednesday that a Kansas woman’s children, who performed for armed militia members in Oregon, will remain in the custody of the state’s Department for Children and Families.

Odalis Sharp’s children told the Shawnee County District Court how their mother had beaten them, yelled at them and berated them with name calling and how each one of them would scream in pain when their mother tried to “beat the fire” out of them.

Sharp, 46, of Auburn, contested that she wasn’t a bad mother and that she loved her children.

However, Judge Steven Ebberts said Sharp crossed the line between punishment and abuse. Sharp has 10 children, but several of them are over 18. The younger kids will remain in state custody, according to the Kansas City Star.

“I think the real abuse is to take these children from their home,” Sharp said.

The details of Sharp’s alleged abuse that were detailed in court were quite gruesome.

Three of Sharp’s children said that their mother had two rods they would get beaten with. She would swat them with the rods and spank them or hit their thighs, the children said. The weapons also came out when Sharp was disappointed by them, according to testimony.

“I love you all,” Sharp said. “But it seems you have made your choice.”

At one point, some of the children even ran away from home because of how unsafe they felt.

The Sharp Family spent the start of the year performing for the armed militia members in Oregon who were occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The kids sang patriotic and gospel songs for Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their supporters.

However, by April, five children had ran away from home. The Kansas City Star reported that the children took guns from their mother’s room and hid them at the end of their driveway before going to the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

Seven of the 10 children were held in temporary state custody in May. One child worried that if the state came to take the children away, there could be a shootout.

Sharp defended her actions, saying that there were too many outside interferences in their lives and that her kids were acting out and she had to take action.

“I properly discipline them,” Sharp said. “That’s why they are excellent children.”

Sharp has 30 days to appeal the judge’s ruling.

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