A Shelbyville judge ruled Friday that a man who is a suspect in the disappearance of his ex-wife in 2011 cannot have visitation with his daughter.
The Shelbyville Times-Gazette reported Judge Lee Russell wrote in his opinion that "I have concluded that the child's story is credible."
Russell was referring to accusations made by the now 8-year-old daughter of Tyler and Shelley Mook, who claimed that Tyler and Kim Mook, the child's paternal grandmother, spoke to the child about burning down her maternal grandmother's house in Pennsylvania.
"Given the actions of the father and paternal grandmother, I find it is not appropriate to resume any form of visitation at this time," Russell wrote in a letter to attorneys. He said he would discuss "our future course" in more detail in his full written opinion.
The mother of a Middle Tennessee teacher who has been missing for two years says she received a disturbing threat from her own granddaughter.
That is just one of the allegations that a judge heard Thursday during a heated custody battle involving the family of Shelley Mook.
Mook was last seen in February 2011 at her ex-husband's home, and police later found her burned car in Murfreesboro.
While they have yet to find any trace of the middle school teacher, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation considers her ex-husband, Tyler Mook, a suspect.
Now, Shelley Mook's mother has custody of the Mooks' 8-year-old daughter. She claims in court the girl told her she was going to kill her after allegedly getting a pocket knife and matches from Tyler Mook.
Tyler Mook said the claims are absolutely false, but now the judge will decide who to believe.
Shelley Mook's mother, Debrah Sikora, said the girl left a message on a dry erase board saying: "I myt kil you that is ol I got to say."
After talking with a counselor, the child allegedly said Tyler Mook told her to light Sikora's house on fire by setting fire under a bed.
Tyler Mook is adamant it's a lie and said if the child had matches and planned to set the house on fire, the plan was her own in order to get back with her dad in Tennessee.
After the incident, Sikora took out an order of protection against Tyler Mook and his mother. She claims they violated it when two other family members, allegedly captured in footage by surveillance video, showed up at her door.
More than a dozen character witnesses for Tyler Mook showed up at the courthouse Thursday, including the mayor of Franklin County and Tyler Mook's pastor, but the question remains whether Tyler Mook should be considered a fit father or a dangerous one - the kind who would give matches to an 8-year-old and tell her to commit a crime.
The judge is expected to rule Friday morning on whether the order of protection will be allowed to stand.
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