Couple sentenced to prison in Telford child neglect case

Becky Campbell • Apr 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

A judge Friday sentenced a Telford couple to more than 15 years in prison in the wake of their convictions last month in what authorities had described as one of the worst child neglect cases ever seen in Washington County.

Criminal Court Judge Robert Cupp sentenced Robert Simons III, 55, to 18 years in prison and his wife, Mary Ella Tittle, 39, to 17 years. Both will be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent of their sentences. They have been given credit for time served, since they have been incarcerated since their arrests in April 2010.

On March 8, a jury found Simons and Tittle guilty of two aggravated child neglect charges, but the remaining six were verdicts on less serious charges. The couple had been facing eight counts of aggravated child neglect in the case.

The two most serious convictions was due to their neglect of their only daughter — not only the educational neglect, but also the parents failure to provide adequate care for the girl’s serious kidney disease.

Washington County sheriff’s officers went to the couple's home at 147 Miller Drive to investigate the educational neglect of the siblings, then ages 7-13. But once investigators arrived, they discovered the children living on a bus and in a camper in the front yard. Neither had running water or bathrooms and were sparse living arrangements for the children, investigators said.

The yard was strewn with trash and the children were using it as a bathroom, according to investigators. The children were removed and placed in foster care.

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