Alabama mom, grandma who kept child with special needs chained to door, made him live in dog cage get 20 years
The mother, Danielle Nicole Martin, 32, and grandmother, Vickie Seale Higginbotham, 58, were arrested in 2018 when the police reacted to an anonymous tip-off of possible child abuse
PRATTVILLE , ALABAMA: A mother and grandmother of a 13-year-old with special needs were sentenced to 20 years of prison for chaining the boy naked to a door in their Alabama home.
The mother, Danielle Nicole Martin, 32, and grandmother, Vickie Seale Higginbotham, 58, were arrested in 2018 when the police reacted to an anonymous tip-off of possible child abuse. While investigating, they found a naked teen with his ankles chained to the door. The boy and two other children aged 12 and 5 respectively, were removed from the residence.
According to investigators, the boy had been previously kept in a dog kennel.
According to a People report, Martin and Higginbotham were given the maximum sentence for their charge as they plead guilty to aggravated child abuse. The boy's stepfather, Joshua David Martin, was also sentenced to 30 days of jail time for child abuse.
A Montgomery Advertiser report said Douglas Gene Phillips, 38, and Matthew Allen Phillips, 29— the boy's uncles were slapped with six-month unsupervised probation. They entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge and endangering child welfare.
Martin, while pleading guilty, told the judge, "I made bad decisions and bad judgments, and I didn’t stop some things." She also added, "I had problems with my son for a long time, and I wasn’t getting the help I asked for,” she continued. “Some decisions were made that shouldn’t have been made and I didn’t fight to stop some things that shouldn’t have happened…"
Her attorney, Richard Lively, said Martin had done the right thing by entering a 'blind plea'. “We did not negotiate any terms for her plea. She has entered a blind plea. She fully accepts responsibility for her actions and submits to the wisdom and mercy of the court to determine her punishment."
Autauga County Investigator Steven Geon talking to WSFA12 News shed light on the condition of two kids. He said the 5-year-old juvenile as despondent, and the 12-year-old as "scared and nervous." Both juveniles are half-siblings of the victim.