CRIME
03/27/2012 06:30 pm ET

Dad Ordered Son To Eat Screws For Punishment

An Illinois couple is behind bars after a man allegedly beat his 12-year-old stepson, made him eat two screws and then forced him to do hundreds of pushups.

James Jennings and his wife, Lashawn Jennings -- who is the victim's adoptive mother -- were charged with child endangerment and other counts after the boy reported the alleged assault to his school nurse, CBS News reported.

A nurse checked the boy out at an elementary school on Scott Air Force Base where Lashawn is stationed, and found bruises on his back and arms. The parents were reported and subsequently arrested.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that James Jennings made the boy do more than 1,000 pushups on his knuckles, beat him with a wooden paddle until it broke and even forced him to eat two metal screws. The boy's alleged offense was that he had eaten cookies and left crumbs on the floor.

James Jennings was charged with aggravated battery, domestic battery and child endangerment, and held on $400,000 bail. Lashawn Jennings wasn't at the home during the incident, but was interviewed after James Jennings was already in jail, and was charged with child endangerment.

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