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Fugitive Frannie couple accused of shooting children with BB gun

Pair is being sought on abuse charges

A Frannie man has dropped off the map while facing two felony charges of child abuse.

Michael Harvey is alleged to have punished a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old child by repeatedly shooting them with a BB gun. His also-missing girlfriend, Teresa Hart, faces two counts of aiding the abuse for allegedly encouraging him to shoot the children on April 27.

Hart, 26, has pleaded not guilty to the felony charges. Harvey, 21, was due to enter a plea on Friday in District Court, but did not show up.

Prosecutors have been seeking his and Hart’s arrests since June 28. That’s because Probation and Parole Agent Don Keeler reportedly found Harvey and Hart together in Frannie — in violation of bond conditions ordering them to stay apart. Harvey and Hart also have active warrants for missing earlier hearings related to child protection proceedings, online sheriff’s records say.

The BB gun abuse had been reported that day by one of the children’s family members in Frannie.

The 6-year-old child told responding Park County Sheriff’s Deputy Andy MaGill that “he was shot about five times, but only one of them really stung a lot,” according to an affidavit from MaGill filed in support of the charges.

The 3-year-old, in contrast, appeared very upset and was crying and screaming, MaGill wrote. On her bottom and upper thigh she had four quarter-sized welts; one had broken the skin and all had bruising, MaGill wrote.

Hart told MaGill the children had been acting up and were sent to the corner. When Harvey and Hart later argued, the 3-year-old began complaining, Hart reportedly said. Harvey found the girl was not facing the corner and proceeded to shoot them with the BB gun from about eight feet away, Hart recounted to MaGill.

She allegedly said Harvey told the children each shot would reduce how much time they had to spend in the corner.

After the second shot, Hart reportedly said, Harvey asked the children if they wanted three more shots or three more hours in the corner.

“Then he would shoot them again and asked, ‘Two more shots or two more hours in the corner? One more shot or one more hour?’ And then he let them out as soon as he was done,” MaGill wrote of Hart’s account.

At the outset of the conversation, MaGill said he asked Hart why she hadn’t stopped Harvey.

“She said that she was afraid that she would get hurt herself, but she had planned on calling the police eventually,” MaGill wrote.

Harvey initially told MaGill he knew nothing about a BB gun, the affidavit says, but later admitted to shooting the kids four or five times each.

“He said that Teresa Hart was telling him to shoot the kids and I told him I would look into that, but just because someone tells you to do something doesn’t mean you have to do it,” MaGill wrote. “(Harvey) then said that he was extremely afraid of Hart, and I told him that he was much bigger than her and I found this hard to believe.”

The 6-year-old later told a Department of Family Services worker that Hart had encouraged Harvey to shoot.

When MaGill followed up with Hart, she said she’d suggested Harvey go shoot the dog and that she was afraid of him.

“Hart then said, ‘I don’t really even think it (the BB gun) hurts them,’” MaGill wrote. “I said, ‘Really?’ She said, ‘... You think it does? It just kinda stings when it hits me, but I guess when (you’re) smaller it does, yeah.’”

MaGill said law enforcement recovered 11 BBs from the carpet where the children were reportedly shot.

Before he disappeared, Harvey had been free on a $7,500 cash bond; Hart had been free on a $20,000 unsecured bond.

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