JULIUS WHIGHAM II USA TODAY NETWORK
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Was it aggravated child abuse? Or simply bad parenting?
A jury will decide the fate of Timothy Ferriter, whose case went to trial Tuesday, more than a year after police accused him and his wife, Tracy, of confining one of their four children in a box-like structure in the garage of their Jupiter, Florida, home.
The state will try the Ferriters separately in the case, which drew international attention after their arrests in February 2022, with courtroom TV channels covering it for hours at a time. Besides aggravated child abuse, Timothy Ferriter, 48, faces charges of false imprisonment and child neglect.
The teen had a history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and a condition known as reactive attachment disorder, Tracy Ferriter told investigators prior to her arrest. The disorder keeps children from forming bonds with their family members, and it can lead them to act out or make it difficult for children to accept love.