Ypsilanti parents accused of brutally beating 5 children with paddles, extension cords

Michael and Shivohn May charged with child abuse

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

YPSILANTI, Mich. - Two parents are in jail Thursday night after police said they used paddles and extension cords to brutally beat their children.

The five children range in age from 5 to 15. Two of the children were allegedly hit with paddles so hard their heads split open.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office got involved in the case after one of the children was rushed to an emergency room.

"I would heard screaming and I didn't know where it would come from," neighbor Diane Vedder said.

Vedder is one of several neighbors who have called police on the May family. She said she's heard screams coming from the home and seen injuries on the children.

"One walked out and had a mark right here on the side," Vedder said.

Michael May II, 34, and his wife, Shivohn May, 35, are both behind bars and charged with child abuse.

Four of the victims are Shivohn May's children, ages 5, 12, 13 and 15. Michael May is their stepfather. The fifth victim is a 5-year-old child the couple had together.

Shivohn May is charged with first- and third-degree child abuse.

Michael May faces six counts of first-degree child abuse, one count of assault by strangulation and three counts of torture.

Both parents are accused of forcing the children to do push-ups, knocking them unconscious, starving them, hitting them with fraternity paddles and whipping them with extension cords.

The couple's oldest daughter was sent to an emergency room for the injuries she suffered after her school noticed scars on her.

For now, the alleged abuse has come to an end. The children are in protective custody. 

The couple faces life in prison if they are convicted in the case. They were investigated two times previously in 2009 and 2014. At that time, case workers said they didn't find enough evidence to step in.

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