Parents who locked kids in room get suspended sentence

Photo taken at scene shows the gate through which the children were fed. (Courtesy Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Department)
Photo taken at scene shows the gate through which the children were fed. (Courtesy Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department)

WASHINGTON — The parents of three young children kept locked up and fed through a gate have been sentenced to six years plus probation, but their jail time will be suspended.

On Tuesday, March 30, the parents, who are not married but live together, plead guilty to three felony counts of child neglect.  Scott Suggs, 28, and Brandy Kangas, 36, were sentenced to six years in prison but all six years were suspended.

They were also sentenced to indefinite probation including 10 years of good behavior.  During that 10-year period they have to be “model citizens,” says Spotsylvania County Commonwealth Attorney Bill Neely.

On Dec. 16, 2014 a Spotsylvania County couple was arrested for child neglect of their three young kids.  Police were tipped off by a good Samaritan.

Captain Jeff Pearce with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office says the children, a 17-month-old boy and two 3 and 4-year-old girls, were kept locked in a cage-like room for 24 hours a day.

It was “like the cage partition that you see on some of the TV shows where you see the bad guys being held in custody,” says Pearce.

“It appeared that the children were locked in this room that was very sparsely furnished with a mattress, some blankets and a few other things on the floor.”

The room was stained with urine and feces.  Captain Pearce says there was a slot through which children were fed.

The Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney William Neely says the children weren’t underweight  and had no permanent physical harm.  He says the mother spent a month is jail and had bonded out.  The parents were ordered to comply with the county department of social services foster-care plan and can’t be alone with the kids.

Captain Pearce says the children are now thriving in a special foster care home for abused or neglected children.  When taken from their parents Pearce says they had no social skills and little contact with the outside world. And, as to be expected,  the children are afraid of closed doors.

“I’m just glad that we were able to help these children and save them and this is the reason we are all in public service.”

Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center is currently accepting donations, but the donations cannot be specified for a particular child or family.

*Editor’s note: Previous information indicated that Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center was accepting donations for the children. The organization accepts donations for all children, not for a specific family or child. 

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