Teen says she was shot pellet gun after hiding food

PHOENIX (AP) - A teenager told authorities she was shot with a pellet gun by her stepfather after she was caught hiding stolen food in her clothing, court records say.

Isiah Jackson was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of aggravated assault and child abuse. Court records did not list a defense attorney for Jackson, 37, who could comment on the charges against him.

Bond was set at $150,000 and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 10.

The girl was in stable condition following surgery for a wound near her heart, according to a Maricopa County Superior Court statement.

Police officers from the Phoenix suburb of Surprise reported the girl had regularly slept alone on a bunk bed with a single mattress in a starkly furnished room under deplorable conditions, including a strong stench caused by urine on the floor.

The bedrooms of six other children in the house were fully furnished and had clothes, toys and decorations, the court filing said. Relatives later told authorities that all personal belongings were removed from the girl’s room after food was found hidden among her things.

They also told authorities the teen often stole food and fetched things to eat out of the trash.

Police spokesman Sgt. Tim Klarkowski said privacy rules prevented the department from confirming the child’s age but court records said she is 13.

The court records said investigators with the Arizona Department of Child Services told detectives “there is a long history with the family of child abuse” that led them to place several of the children in foster homes from 2010-2013. The records did not specify what kind of abuse was alleged or exactly who was suspected in those earlier cases.

The girl has not been in school for at least three years and the family reportedly told authorities she had been taking online classes and did not have any friends. After the girl was found shot, authorities placed the family’s other six children with child welfare authorities.

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