Prosecutors Drop Felony Child Abuse Charges Against Joshua Tree Homeless Couple

May 3, 2018

Daniel Panico, left, and Mona Kirk, right, in their new house that is still undergoing renovations.
Credit KMIR TV Palm Springs

Prosecutors have dropped felony charges against the Joshua Tree couple accused of abusing their three children.  KVCR's Benjamin Purper has more.

The decision is a reversal from last week, when friends of the family told reporters that no deal to lift charges had been made.

But then, San Bernardino County prosecutors announced on Wednesday that the felony child abuse charges against Daniel Panico and Mona Kirk had been dropped. They’ve now been exchanged with misdemeanor charges.

The Press-Enterprise reports that prosecutors also filed a motion to lift the protective order limiting the parents’ access to their children.

Until now, Panico and Kirk had been allowed to see their children once a week – but they had to drive four hours to a relative’s house to do so.

If the protective order is lifted, Panico and Kirk would have much more access to their children. But they would still have to go through dependency court to regain full custody.

Their next hearing is scheduled for June 29.