Tag: child neglect

Man pleads guilty to starving children – journal-news.net | News, sports, jobs, community information for Martinsburg – The Journal

MARTINSBURG – A Berkeley County man accused of starving of his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter and forcing them to sleep in an unfinished basement pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of child abuse causing serious bodily injury as part of a plea agreement.

Jesse A. Lafferty, 34, who is currently incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail, was originally named in a seven-count indictment issued in February 2011 by a Berkeley County grand jury. The agreement resulted in the dismissal of the remaining counts.

Lafferty is scheduled to be sentenced July 16 by West Virginia 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes and is represented by local attorney Christopher Prezioso. As part of the plea agreement, the court will be unfettered in sentencing. Lafferty faces two to 10 years in prison on each of the counts.

“I willfully withheld food from my children in order to punish them, which led to neglect and malnutrition, sir,” Lafferty told the court.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely told the court that the state’s evidence would show that there were periods of time where food was withheld from the two victims for more than 24 hours at a time as punishment and that during certain weeks the children were sometimes not fed for periods of three to four days. When the children were rescued by authorities, Games-Neely said they were found to be severely malnourished and had distended abdomens similar to starving children from third-world countries.

“Let the record show that the defendant has executed the written guilty plea form. … Sir, are you sure this is how you want to resolve this matter?” Wilkes asked the defendant.

“Yes,” responded Lafferty, who was shackled and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit.

via Man pleads guilty to starving children – journal-news.net | News, sports, jobs, community information for Martinsburg – The Journal.

Texas Children Found Living In School Bus, While Parents Imprisoned For Embezzlement | Fox News

The imprisoned father of two Texas children found living in an abandoned school bus is claiming the home was only meant to be temporary.

Mark Shorten said he planned to build a house on a wooded lot near Houston before he and his wife were arrested for embezzlement in 2010. Child welfare officials took custody of his children earlier this week after the siblings — a 5-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl — were found living in the dilapidated bus at the end of a muddy, one-lane road in Splendora, home to one of the poorest school districts in the state.

Fox affiliate KRIV-TV reported Thursday that no charges have been filed yet in the case. The children’s parents are in federal prison for stealing money from victims of Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008, according to the station.

The postal carrier saw the kids Wednesday near Houston, and the two were swiftly placed in foster care while authorities investigate.

“The little girl’s hair was just matted, like a stray dog’s,” Vanessa Picazo said.

The father of the pair said he never intended for the bus to be a permanent home. He said the family had planned to build a house at the site, which was now strewn with reeking trash.

via Texas Children Found Living In School Bus, While Parents Imprisoned For Embezzlement | Fox News.

Faith-healing-couple-Dale-Shannon-Hickman-sentenced-6-years-jail.html from… – StumbleUpon

Faith-healing-couple-Dale-Shannon-Hickman-sentenced-6-years-jail.

A couple who prayed and rubbed olive oil on their dying son rather than calling 911 have been sentenced to more than six years behind bars.

Dale and Shannon Hickman, both 26, were convicted of manslaughter in September for the death of their son, David.

The baby boy was born two months early at his grandmother’s home and died nine hours later when he had trouble breathing and turned blue.

On Monday, a judge told the couple, who are members of a controversial Oregon faith-healing church, that they could have done more to save their baby.