The Richmond Register

Local News

May 4, 2012

Couple admit to locking toddlers in filthy room


A couple accused of locking their two toddlers in a feces-covered room admitted Thursday that they had placed the children in an “unsafe and potentially harmful” environment.

Stewart M. and Jennifer A. Shuman, both 23, pleaded guilty in Madison Circuit Court to two charges each of second-degree criminal abuse. They originally had been indicted on two charges each of first-degree criminal abuse. 
Under the original charges, the Shumans could have received maximum sentences of 20 years each. Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith recommended concurrent sentences of five years for each abuse charge, resulting in a total of five years in prison for each of the parents.
Smith said first-degree criminal abuse indicates intentionally abusing someone, while the language for second-degree abuse indicates the perpetrator “wantonly” abused someone.
The couple had been scheduled for a jury trial May 14.
Stewart Shuman told Judge William Clouse that the cleanliness of the household in which his two children, ages 2 and 3, were living in had deteriorated to a condition that was “unsafe and potentially harmful to our children.”
Jennifer Shuman made a similar admission when entering her guilty plea.
“The kids’ room was filled with feces and was unsafe for them,” she said.
The Shumans, of Mount Rushmore Drive, were arrested Sept. 8 when Richmond police officers found their two sons locked in a bedroom, according to the report. The room was “covered from floor to ceiling with feces from both children,” the arresting officer wrote.
The door had been tied together with a bungee cord, according to the report.
Jennifer Shuman reportedly told police the children had been kept in the room for about a week because she and her husband could not control them. The children also had numerous bruises, and the younger child had bite marks on his arms, according to the report.

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims Leave Ukraine Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

What county fair attraction do you like most?

Amusement rides
Beauty pageants
Flora Hall craft exhibits
Horse shows
Livestock, poultry shows
Truck, tractor pulls
Mud, dirt races
Gospel sing
I like them all
     View Results