Breckinridge 'off the grid' couple appears in court on criminal charges

Kentucky Parents Lose Custody of 10 Kids Due to Off-the-Grid Lifestyle

BRECKINRIDGE COUNTY, Ky. -A couple claiming to live off the grid in rural Breckinridge County was in court Tuesday to face criminal charges.

Joe and Nichole Naugler both pleaded not guilty to criminal charges.

Nichole Naugler is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Authorities said they had a court order last week to remove the Nauglers' 10 children, after the state determined their living conditions were unsafe.

Couple living off the grid loses custody of their 10 kids
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Breckinridge 'off the grid' couple appears in court on criminal charges
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Credit: VUZ

We're now learning from court documents, when authorities conducted a traffic stop with Nichole, she told her kids to keep the doors locked. Police say the kids had to be physically removed.

Court records also show Joe Naugler faces a menacing charge for threatening a woman with a gun after trying to get water from a well on her property Sunday. That woman's lawyer says she has now received death threats.

"The only statement we want to make is that we ask that everyone keep us and our family and our children in their prayers as we go through a very difficult time, that's all please," said Joe Naugler after court Tuesday.

The Nauglers say they live off the grid, not relying on municipal utilities, home-schooling their children, using only a generator for power and sleeping in what they call an open cabin.

During a private custody hearing Monday, a few people stood outside of the courthouse to support the family.

"I question when people are asked to do something on an accusation," said Johnny Embry.

But neighbors told WLKY what they've seen is disturbing. They didn't want to talk on camera for fear of retaliation, but they wonder what's going on behind all of the family's "no trespassing" signs.

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