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TWO ACCUSED OF STARVING SON ALLOWED AT FUNERAL

Instead of mourners' black, the parents of Jeffrey Mitchell sat near his grave in bright orange jail jumpsuits, handcuffed and shackled.

The couple, charged with starving the 2-year-old to death and nearly starving his two sisters, were allowed out of jail Friday to attend his funeral.

Billy Gene Mitchell, 45, and Susan Mitchell, 37, charged with murder and wanton endangerment, sat side by side flanked by jail officials and sheriff's deputies.

Mrs. Mitchell collapsed in sobs, screaming her son's name, as the service ended.

Mitchell told authorities his only income was an Air Force pension and very little money was left each month after making payments on huge credit-card debts and other bills.

An autopsy showed Jeffrey died from malnutrition. Three-year-old Melanie weighed 16 pounds and 6-year-old Billie just 28 pounds when they were taken into state custody; both have been treated for malnutrition.