FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The Fresno couple facing felony charges for child endangerment made their first court appearance Friday morning.
Bao Xiong and Joshua Yang’s defense waived their arraignments meaning they have both entered an initial plea of not guilty. The defense also asked the judge for a pre-trial release given how both parents don’t have a criminal history.
Jason Yang is Joshua Yang’s older brother. In a statement over Facebook Messenger, Jason said that his nieces and nephews were never neglected.
“There were zero sings of child neglect,” said Yang. “The kids were never malnourished or had any signs of living in deplorable conditions.”
Yang also added that his sister-in-law would often cause trouble for his younger brother. Sometimes getting violent and tearing up mattresses and couches and flipping over other furniture until Joshua would let her leave to go gamble.
“We have tried to intervene but I think my brother’s fear of his wife taking his kids away caused him to stay in the relationship.”
In 2016, court records show that Joshua Yang filed a domestic violence complaint about Bao Xiong hurting one of the children, that case was dismissed. Jason Yang wants the community to know his brother is a good person, but is not making excuses for the condition the apartment was found in.
“If you ask any one that knows him they will tell you who he truly is: a loving, caring , and hard-working person,” Yang said. “Whatever transpired is inexcusable for both my brother and my sister in law.”
The prosecution highlighted the poor condition the apartment where the children were found on April 13, and chronicled the chain of events that ultimately left the children alone that day.
When referencing the police report of Xiong and Yang’s arrest, the prosecution stated that Xiong had said the night before she was going to play cards, and that she would be home by 7:30 in the morning. Yang had reportedly left to go to work that day thinking Xiong was going to come back and watch the children, but she did not return
Both parents’ bails were set at $100,000, but the judge reduced the bail to $25,000. Their pre-trial is set for April 20.