COUPLE'S COURT DATE DELAYED; DEAD GIRL'S PARENTS SEEK PRIVATE ATTORNEYS.
The arraignments for a Lake Los Angeles couple accused of starving their severely handicapped 15-year-old daughter to death were postponed Monday until next month to allow them time to hire private lawyers.
Kathleen and Michael Gentry appeared in Los Angeles Municipal Court on charges of murdering their daughter, Lindsay, and were ordered to remain in custody on $1 million bail each.
``Mr. Gentry started to read a prepared statement to the judge, that under the California Constitution, he had been denied certain rights, such as the right to talk to an attorney,'' Deputy District Attorney Kathleen Cady said.
When Municipal Court Judge Dale Fischer informed Michael Gentry that there was a defense attorney available, Gentry said he didn't want to talk to that alternate public defender, Cady said.
The Gentrys' arraignment was rescheduled for Aug. 3.
Lindsay Gentry was 4 feet 8 inches and about 50 pounds when she died in early 1996, and authorities did not suspect wrongdoing until a family friend reported that the girl was mistreated, setting off a complex, two-year medical investigation.
The inquiry led to the arrests last Thursday of Kathleen Gentry, 44, and her husband, Michael, 54, at their home.
Authorities say Lindsay's parents are responsible for the malnutrition that led to her death Feb. 6, 1996. The death certificate lists pneumonia and marasmus - progressive emaciation caused by a lack of food - as contributing factors.
Kathleen Gentry discussed her daughter in an interview with the Daily News in February, saying the complications of Lindsay's disabilities prompted neighbors and school officials to call the Department of Children and Family Services and file almost two-dozen abuse complaints - all groundless - against the family.