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No plea deal for accused mother


No plea deal for accused mother

Attorney for woman charged with endangering adoptive son rejects offer, for now 

By BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer

First published: Tuesday, June 17, 2008

TROY -- A longtime foster mother accused of severely abusing her 11-year-old adoptive son turned down a plea deal Monday that would have netted her a 60-day jail sentence.

Sharmon S. "Sherry" Evans, 57, appeared before Family Court Judge Linda Griffin on Monday and was informed by prosecutors that she would also face three years probation and have to surrender her parental rights to the boy if she pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of a child.


"We find the deal unacceptable at this time," Evans' attorney Joseph Ahearn told the judge.

In turning down the deal, however, Ahearn asked for more time to consider the plea and the matter was rescheduled for July 7.

The boy, whose name is being withheld by the Times Union, said in a police deposition that he was forced to live in a prison-like bedroom that was rigged with an alarm to let Evans know if he tried to leave.

He said he was neglected for as long as he could remember, was not regularly fed and was not allowed to use the bathroom, causing him to soil himself. He also alleged he was regularly punched and slapped, and forced to wear a diaper and sleep on the floor with no blankets or pillow.

Evans, who ran a foster home for many years at 714 Fourth Ave., was charged May 10 in City Court with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. The boy was a foster child before being adopted by Evans at about the age of 1.

According to a deposition taken from a 14-year-old friend, the boy stood near the garbage cans in the cafeteria at the school he attended and asked classmates for their leftovers. "He was asking the kids if he could have their food, the stuff that wasn't bitten," said the older boy, whose name also is being withheld.

The case came to light when Evans' son showed up at the friend's house May 9 wanting to say goodbye because he was running away from home.

The friend's parents then took Evans' son to police headquarters.

Assistant District Attorney Laura Kruegler told the judge that the office of District Attorney Richard McNally was offering the deal which also would require that Evans submit to a mental health evaluation.

Also in court Monday regarding the case was Theresa Beaudoin of the Rensselaer County Social Services Department and the boy's law guardian, Fred Kirwin.

County officials have said the boy now lives with other foster care providers and is doing better and gaining weight.

Bob Gardinier can be reached at 454-5696 or by e-mail at bgardinier@timesunion.com.

2008 Jun 17