Couple sentenced to 8 years in prison for putting son with autism in a cage

cageO’Fallon, Mo. — A couple who was caught putting their son with autism in a makeshift cage was given the maximum sentence of eight years in prison Friday.

Terry and Victoria Smith were found guilty of child endangerment after it was discovered that they have been keeping their son in a makeshift cage when authorities paid their house a visit back in 2010. The child, who was then six years old, was reportedly found sitting in feces and urine in the cage, which was secured by bungee cords and zip ties.

Lawyers for the Smiths tried to get the couple a new trial but the St. Charles County judge in charge of their case denied their motion. The attorneys later on tried to argue that the couple were “perfect candidates” for probation, but the prosecutor, unconvinced, said that the Smiths’ children “mean nothing” to them.

The sentencing lasted for about three hours, where a witness was called to testify, and a video painting the Smiths as sympathetic parents was played in an effort to sway the judge.

Terry and Victoria Smith were also ordered to pay a $500 fine on top of their seven-year prison sentence.

Source: Chris Regnier, on the kplr11 news website: O’Fallon couple sentenced for caging autistic son