MONROE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been sentenced to six to 10 years in prison after admitting he handcuffed an 11-year-old boy by his ankle to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck as punishment.
Dorian Harper was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and maiming without malice.
Harper told the judge in Monroe southeast of Charlotte that he is sorry for his actions.
Prosecutors said they agreed to accept a guilty plea to spare the children in the home from having to testify at a trial.
Prosecutors said the children had endured enough, living in a filthy house with animals, being hungry and beaten.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.
A North Carolina man pleaded guilty Wednesday to handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by his ankle to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck as punishment.
Dorian Harper entered the plea to three felonies, including child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon and maiming without malice. His plea came a day after a jury was seated in the case.
“Yes, sir,” Harper, 58, said when the trial judge asked if he was guilty.
Opening statements had been set for Wednesday. It wasn’t clear when Harper would be sentenced.
Harper rejected prosecutors’ plea deal Monday, saying he wanted the trial to go on. He and his girlfriend, 58-year-old Wanda Larson, were arrested after a sheriff’s deputy found the boy in November 2013.
“This is a very serious case, with very serious implications for Mr. Harper,” Judge Brad Long told the jury Tuesday.
Larson was the boy’s guardian and a Department of Social Services supervisor in Union County. Larson faces similar charges. She has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities said they think Harper tied the dead chicken around the boy’s neck as punishment for killing one of the chickens on the 5-acre farm where they lived.
The indictment against the couple said the boy had been subject to abuse that also included being chained to a piece of railroad track in his room. Harper cut the boy’s face with a knife and used an electric wire to burn his face, according to the indictment. It also said the boy once broke his wrist trying to escape.
Four other children – ages 7 to 14, all adopted by Larson – were removed from the home after Harper and Larson were arrested.
Source: Huff Post