Wyoming Couple Accused Of Keeping Child In Outdoor Cage
A Wyoming man and a woman both ace felony charges on allegations that they kept the woman’s 7-year-old in an outdoor cage on and off for three weeks, forcing the child to sleep in the enclosure even during rainstorms, the Associated Press reports.
When deputies went to the rural property after receiving tips last month, they discovered a wooden and metal cage outside the home which contained a cot, a toothbrush, a bucket and other items.
According to court documents, the mother, Jena Harman, referred to the cage as a playpen. She said the child was kept in the enclosure because of misbehavior. According to the affidavit, the man told deputies he disliked the child but kept the child in the cage to ensure safety.
The child’s mother and Alexander Smith are charged with one count each of child abuse and three counts each of felonious restraint.
The Laramie Boomerang reports:
Before the arrests, the Sheriff’s Office began receiving complaints of child abuse and requests for welfare checks dating back to August.
Deputies responded to the property after receiving a tip July 23 that the child was being kept in a cage there.
After arriving, deputies discovered the cage was about six feet square, five feet tall and constructed of cattle paneling and wooden snow fence. Plywood covered half of the top opening. Inside the cage, deputies discovered a cot, clothing, books, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a five-gallon bucket, according to court documents.
A metal chain and “dog-leash-style latch” were allegedly used to keep the child locked in the cage.
If Harman and Smith are found guilty on all four counts, they could each face up to 20 years in prison.
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