The Richmond Register

April 4, 2014

Berea couple plead to misdemeanor in abuse case

BPD alleges children’s bedroom door was repeatedly chained shut

By Sarah Hogsed
Register Staff Report

RICHMOND — A Berea couple accused by police of repeatedly chaining shut the door of their children’s bedroom pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of second-degree wanton endangerment.

Amber L. Bishop, 26, and Daniel S. Isaacs, 22, originally were charged in May 2013 with three counts of first-degree criminal abuse. They could have received a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith said the couple has worked with family court on improving their parenting skills and been “very successful” with the process. They recently regained custody of their children.

It would be “counterproductive for the commonwealth to put them in prison,” Smith said.

Judge Jean C. Logue sentenced Isaacs and Bishop to 12 months in jail, conditionally discharged for two years if they have no further violations of the law.

While pleading guilty in Madison Circuit Court, Isaacs said his 7-year-old son has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and would often get out of the house when he was supposed to be sleeping.

“So we locked him in his room at night,” Isaacs said.

Smith added that the child wasn’t allowed to leave the room for extended periods and unsanitary conditions existed in the bedroom.

The investigation began last year when one of the couple’s children told someone the door to a bedroom often was chained shut, and they were not allowed to leave for hours, according to Berea Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Jake Reed.

Workers with the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, along with the BPD, visited the Morgan Street home, and the officers reported finding chains and ropes that were used to keep the room’s door secured, Reed said.

The couple told police they chained the door only at night, but the children told authorities it also was done at other times, according to the BPD.

Two 6-year-olds, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old lived at the home, and the children were removed from their respective parent’s custody following Bishop and Isaac’s arrest.