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Parents living 'off the grid' with 10 children plead not guilty to criminal charges

Parents living 'off the grid' with 10 children plead not guilty to criminal charges
Published: May. 12, 2015 at 3:07 PM EDT|Updated: May. 19, 2015 at 3:07 PM EDT
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Nicole and Joe Naugler
Nicole and Joe Naugler
The Naughers in court on Tuesday. (Source: Natalia Martinez, WAVE 3 News)
The Naughers in court on Tuesday. (Source: Natalia Martinez, WAVE 3 News)
This is the structure in which the Naugler family resides. (Source: Facebook)
This is the structure in which the Naugler family resides. (Source: Facebook)

HARDINSBURG, KY (WAVE) - A Breckinridge County couple who live 'off the grid' with their 10 children have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to alleged confrontations with a neighbor and authorities.

Nicole Naugler is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Joe Naugler is charged with menacing.

[PREVIOUS STORY: 'Off-the-grid' parents still fighting for custody; father says son's abuse claims are false]

The Nauglers have depended upon neighbors' private wells or municipal hookups for their drinking water, but on May 3, one neighbor turned down Joe Naugler and he was asked to leave the her property. That neighbor told WAVE 3 News that Naugler then told his son to retrieve a pistol from the glove compartment of their car. The alleged incident prompted the menacing charge.

Nicole Naugler was arrested on May 6 after confronting a Breckinridge County sheriff's deputy who was trying to question her children. CPS later moved the Nauglers' children into foster homes for reasons that are unclear.

[PREVIOUS STORY: 'Off-grid' couple faces hearing to regain custody of 10 children]

The Naugler family lives mostly outdoors in a wood frame covered by tarps. Their children do not attend formal schools. Their Facebook page contains posts that allude to a "free-schooling" approach to education in which parents provide "life lessons" to each child at his or her own pace.

On Monday, Joe Naugler's oldest son, Alex Brow, 19, told WAVE 3 News that his father physically and sexually abused him.

The Nauglers are scheduled to appear in court again on the custody issue on Monday, May 18. Joe Naugler will be back in court on the menacing charge on Tuesday, May 26. Nicole Naugler has a pre-trial conference scheduled for Monday, July 6.

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