Terry G. Smith of O'Fallon says he is not guilty of keeping his six-year-old autistic son naked and covered in excrement in what police describe as a crude, makeshift cage.
Smith and his wife, Victoria, were charged with felony child endangerment when an anonymous tip to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline spurred a police investigation into their St. Charles County home.
In 2010 the O'Fallon Police Department found the six-year-old boy in the basement, trapped in a three-foot-by-six-foot plywood cage held together with zip ties, tension straps and bungee cords, according to the probable-cause statement.
Three years later, Terry Smith has entered his official not guilty plea, and his wife Victoria is still awaiting arraignment, according to KMOX. The couple is scheduled to stand trial in March 2014.
Details about the child's rescue are sickening and heart-breaking. The child's five siblings -- ranging in age from eleven months to eight years old -- say they fed him hot dogs and chicken nuggets through the bars of his cage.
Terry and Victoria Smith were not at home when first responders arrived, and it took three hours to track them down. An older relative was watching the six children, although she said she had a difficult time looking after them since she was recovering from a stroke.
The home was unsanitary and cluttered, police said, and doorknobs to children's rooms had been installed backward to allow the parents to lock their children in from the outside.
Continue reading for the complete probable-cause statement.@StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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