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Accused adults in 'trailer of horrors' where two children died bound for trial

Four people are charged in this case in Lycoming County. Two of them had hearings on Wednesday, and a third testified against them.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — The mother accused of killing her two daughters then burying them in the backyard turned against her girlfriend on Wednesday, testifying against her in court.

The children's mother, Marie Snyder, told the judge that when one of her daughters died, she weighed less than five pounds. The other girl weighed less than a gallon of milk.

Snyder did not answer us as she left the Lycoming County Courthouse. She and her girlfriend Echo Butler both face homicide charges for the deaths of Marie's young daughters, Nicole and Jasmine.

Echo's parents, Ronald and Michele Butler, are also charged in the case.

All four were scheduled to have hearings Wednesday, but Echo and Ronald Butler are the only ones who did. Instead, Marie Snyder testified against the two.

Snyder told the judge her children were healthy when they moved into the Butler home in 2014 but says the abuse started soon after.

Snyder said Echo hated her young daughters and would force them to stand in a corner from when they woke up until bedtime.

"She (Echo) would hit them with a closed or open fist and tie their hands behind their backs with anything she could find."

The Lycoming County district attorney called where they lived near Williamsport a "trailer of horrors."

According to Snyder, Echo cared for the children while Snyder worked at a nearby nursing home. Echo forced the girls to take cold baths, saying they did not deserve hot water.

Snyder told the judge both she and Echo withheld food from Nicole and Jasmine, only giving them a sip of water and a bite of cereal at a time. Then, towards the end of the children's lives, they were not fed at all.

"We starved them so they would die," Snyder said.

Snyder said Nicole was six years old when she died and weighed less than five pounds.

"She (Nicole) was pale and bruised, skin and bones. She had a scar from where I bashed her head into a wall."

Snyder said Jasmine was four years old when she died and weighed less than a gallon of milk. Both girls were put in tote bags and buried in the family's backyard in Hepburn Township.

The judge ruled there is enough evidence for Echo and Ron Butler to stand trial. Marie Snyder and Michele Butler waived their hearings. That means all four people charged in this case are headed to Lycoming County court for possible trial.

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