Mother charged with starving, torturing kids appears in court

Police say the mother choked her children and held their heads under water

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TAMPA, Fla. - A judge has set bail for a mother accused of abusing her kids.  Her bail is set at 120 thousand dollars.  She appeared in court Saturday.

Police say 43 year-old Jamie Marie Hicks starved and tortured her eight children. Authorities charged her with two counts of aggravated child abuse and two counts of child neglect.

The Tampa Bay Times reports two of Hicks children, 16 year-old twin boys, were malnourished and had to be hospitalized.  One weighed 94 pounds and the other twin weighed only 88 pounds. 

Police say for days Hicks withheld food from her children.  They say she also tortured them by holding their heads underwater and hitting and choking them.

Police charged the twins' stepfather with two counts of child neglect.

The children are now in the hands of state child welfare officials.

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