PUNTA GORDA — A couple accused of abusing two children entered pleas of not guilty Monday to two counts of child abuse without great harm during a criminal arraignment hearing at the Charlotte County Justice Center.
Linda Mae Capps, 34, and her boyfriend, Manuel Vincente Antuna, 37, are accused of beating Capps’ children — a boy, 13, and a girl, 9 — with a belt on several occasions and punishing them by making them hold cans with their arms raised for several hours at a time, according to a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office report.
Capps chose to represent herself. Circuit Judge Amy Hawthorne advised her to find a public defender before her next court appearance on July 18.
Antuna was not present in the courtroom on Monday, but his lawyer, Mark DeSisto, entered a plea of not guilty. Hawthorne set his next court appearance for July 18.