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Plea deal rejected in neglect case


Plea deal rejected in neglect case

December 6, 2006

Mike Fletcher

Kokomo Tribune

Dec. 6--A plea deal recommended for the Greentown couple charged with neglecting their adoptive children that would have given them probation and no jail time was denied Wednesday by Circuit Court Judge Lynn Murray.

The plea would have allowed Teresa and Jay Moody to plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor and receive a one-year suspended sentence with the condition of probation that they could not provide further services as foster parents.

Police arrested the couple March 31 on two Class D felony charges of neglect each after detectives learned they were confining their adoptive children, an 11-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter, in a wire cage and denying the children food.

After reviewing the case, Murray felt the plea was too lenient and rejected it.

"I didn't feel it was an equitable way to resolve it," she said.

The couple is set to stand trial Feb. 6.

If convicted of the D felonies, the couple could serve up to four years in prison for each offense.

Deputy Prosecutor Mark McCann, who agreed with the recommendation, was not available for comment.

Police said the children were kept in a horse stall fitted with wire caging at the couple's horse farm, Four Seasons Farm, 4282 S. 800 East, according to court records.

State police and sheriff deputies began investigating the Moodys late last year after hearing reports from school officials and people who visited the farm that they were abusing and neglecting the children.

Both posted $500, 10 percent of their $5,000 bail, after their March 31 arrests and were released from jail.

Mike Fletcher may be reached at

(765) 454-8565 or via e-mail at mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com

2006 Dec 6