MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA — A Lower Providence man will stand trial on charges he abused his wife and children by hitting them with wooden rods and PVC pipe, and shocking them with an electric dog collar.

According to the main detective in the case, Joseph Myhre tells investigators he is three years into a masters program for family and marriage therapy.

The three-and a-half hour preliminary hearing focused on allegations Myhre hit his children on the head with PVC pipes and wooden rods, slid needles under his daughter’s finger and toenails, and force the children and his wife to wear a dog shock collar that would leave burn marks.

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Prosecutor Alex McMaster said, “The allegations here today were of brutal physical and emotional abuse.”

According to testimony at the prelim, Myhre’s wife told investigators Myhre told her to buy the shock collar so – quote – “he wouldn’t have to expend so much effort himself.”

Myhre was very engaged at the hearing, passing his attorney notes, shaking his head during certain parts of testimony.

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His attorney, David McKenzie says Myhre plans to plead NOT guilty, and has provided him information toward his defense.

“It’s my job as his attorney to sift through it and present that as a legal argument – a valid one,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie asked for a bail reduction, but prosecutors say, after the initial charge was filed, Myhre was out on bail, and they allege he tried to get his children to slip a GPS tracking tile into their mother’s belongings.

She and the children are in what prosecutors say is a safe and secret place.

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