12-10-2015, 12:14 PM #1
MO - Terry & Victoria Smith for caging 6yo autistic son, O'Fallon, 2010
A suburban St. Louis couple was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison for keeping their autistic son inside a makeshift cage...
Authorities said she led them to the basement, where the autistic child was in a 3-foot-by-6-foot crib covered with a plywood top and held together with bungee cords and zip ties.
Investigators said he was naked and sitting in feces and urine.
12-10-2015, 12:20 PM #2After a three-hour sentencing hearing that featured witnesses and a family video, a St. Charles County judge sentenced Terry and Victoria Smith to seven years in prison and a $500 fine. The couple was immediately taken away in shackles by authorities.
The Smiths were convicted last month of child endangerment. At that point, the jury recommended the maximum sentence of seven years. Prosecutors asked for that sentence during the hearing and Judge House agreed...
This case goes back to December of 2010 when authorities went to the O`Fallon, Missouri home where the Smiths were living at the time with their children including their then six year old autistic son.
12-10-2015, 12:25 PM #3n opening statements, the prosecution called the Smiths, who have six kids, adept and cunning at amassing welfare, saying the couple was unemployed and saw their son as a source of income.
The prosecutor told jurors the Smiths were receiving around $35,000 a year from the government for the care of the boy...
The defense also says the department of mental health gave what they call not a cage but a medical bed to the Smiths and the agency was working to get them a new one.
12-10-2015, 12:31 PM #4When the Smiths came home, they told investigators that they fashioned the cage for the boy’s protection — it was the only way to keep him from hurting himself when left alone, Lohmar said.
The parents later told officials they had purchased a special bed for their six-year-old that was being shipped in from Germany.
According to the Smiths, they did their best to keep the cage clean and kept him naked so that he wouldn’t accidentally hang himself with clothing..
According to a police report, a caseworker from the Department of Mental Health was aware of the cage for about six months before the December 2010 visit and had spoken to her supervisor about it.
The makeshift holding pen was supposed to be used only when the boy was sleeping. The caseworker said she had made repeated attempts to get the family to place the severely autistic child in a group home.
Terry Smith told officials that he knew the situation with his son was not ideal, but his goal was to keep the family together for as long as possible.
12-10-2015, 12:33 PM #5
Thanks for the update Ray. They get no compassion from me. Don't want kids? Fix it so you can't.Media thread for Abby and Libby.
Unless I provide a link, every one of my posts are to be considered rumor, Speculation, or simply MY OWN OPINION.
We are the watchers. We are witnesses. We see what has gone before. We see what happens now, at this dangerous moment in human history. We see what's going to happen - what will surely happen - unless we come together: we - the Peoples of all Nations - to restore peace and harmony and balance to the Earth, our Mother.
12-10-2015, 12:40 PM #6Terry and Victoria Smith considered it a medical bed, given to them by the state, modified to keep their severely autistic son inside while he slept.
Smith cried as she said the bed looked terrible, calling it a constant reminder of how impaired her son is, but testified it was necessary for his safety.
Testimony began Tuesday. Police, a social worker, and caretaker described how the boy’s bedding was saturated with urine and smeared with feces.
Victoria Smith said she felt awful about putting Josiah in the makeshift cage, but she had been mandated by the Missouri Department of Health to keep him there until she could get the funds for a new bed.
12-10-2015, 12:50 PM #7
Their son and his five siblings were removed from their parents care, but later returned, according to court documents....
The child was naked, sitting in his own urine and feces, but had several toys with him and appeared content, Lohmar told St Louis Post-Dispatch. A police stated that conditions in the rest of the house were also filthy...
Then-prospector Jack Banas declined to file charges against the parents in March 2011, but Lohmar said additional evidence that had been uncovered since led to charges being filed Friday.
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