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Va. mother who allegedly confined children in makeshift cages out on bail

Malista Ness-Hopkins (Accomack County Jail)

ACCOMAC, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia woman who allegedly kept her young children in makeshift cages and filthy conditions is out on bail.

The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland, reported Tuesday that a judge required her to seek a mental health evaluation and pursue recommended treatment.

Malista Ness-Hopkins faces charges of abuse and neglect. Authorities said two of her kids were caged inside cribs and three others lived in squalor. Social workers removed the children from the home on Virginia's Eastern Shore when they were discovered in late July.

The 38-year-old woman told authorities that a boyfriend who was the father of some of the children died last year.

The judge in in Accomac, a small town about 20 miles south of the Maryland border, sent Ness-Hopkins' case to a grand jury last week.

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