A Collier County grandmother was arrested Monday after bruises were found on her grandchildren by a school nurse. Ordene Christie, 50, faces three counts of child abuse without great harm against her grandchildren, who told investigators she beat them with a belt and a stick for taking food from the kitchen of their home. They said she also threatened to maim them with a machete.
According to Christie's arrest report, the school nurse at Palmetto Elementary School notified the Collier County Sheriff's Office when she noticed multiple bruises on one of the children. A doctor then examined her and her two siblings, finding more bruises on their backs, thighs and arms. The report also indicates that the children all appeared underweight.
All three children told investigators that last Wednesday, their grandmother "beat them with a belt, stick, and a machete" for "attempting to steal food out of the kitchen," and threatened to "chop off their hands and head" with a machete. The children were then kept them home from school the rest of the week.
Christie was arrested Monday. In court Tuesday, a woman claiming to be Christie's daughter - and the mother of the three children - spoke up on Christie's behalf, saying Christie is a registered nurse who works hard to take care of the three kids.
"She's the sole provider," the woman told the judge. "She has custody of my children. She has never had any incident. I had a problem a couple of years ago and she stepped up. She's done her best to take care of all three of them."
The judge did find probable cause for Christie's arrest. He set her bond at $7,500 and ordered her to have no contact with the three children.