Couple charged with caging autistic child set for October trial

Johnson City Press • Jun 28, 2018 at 9:05 AM

A Jonesborough couple accused of using a cage for an autistic child will go to trial on abuse and neglect charges later this year.

Patricia Laws, 44, and Mickey Sparks, 70, were charged in February 2016 with aggravated child abuse and neglect after Washington County deputies went to 151 Miller Crossing Road to respond to a report of child abuse. After searching the home, deputies said they noticed a locked wooden cage with a girl lying on a mattress inside. The enclosure smelled of urine and feces, according to deputies.

Laws and Sparks were in Washington County Criminal Court Wednesday where a judge set the case for trial. The couple was scheduled to face a jury Oct. 9 and 10. Both are free on bond while the case is pending

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