An Arizona mother accused of abusing and torturing her adopted children who starred in her popular YouTube series has died. Machelle Hobson, 47, was charged with 30 counts of kidnapping and child abuse for allegedly beating her seven children when they failed to perform up to her standards.
Authorities said that Hobson would pepper-spray them, force them to take ice baths, and lock them in a dark closet if they messed up their lines. She would withhold food and water for days and restricted their access to the bathroom. The children said they had not been to school in years, and Hobson kept them at home so they could continue to make videos for her YouTube channel.
Officials did not say how Hobson died. According to KPNX, she was deemed unfit for trial after she suffered a brain injury while in custody. Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer told the news station that while he could not provide details about her injury, he did not believe it was the result of a self-inflicted wound or an attack by another inmate. Hobson was receiving treatment at a medical facility when she died.
The children are in the custody of the Department of Child Safety, and officials hope to find a home where they can all live together. Volkmer said that he is glad the children will not have to go through the trauma of their mother's trial.
“We’re happy that the kids don’t have to go through this. The only way that we could have been able to prove these charges is these kids would’ve been required to testify under oath in front of the jury in front of the world and everyone else,” Volkmer said.
Photo: Pinal County Jail