Utah man Sammie Hodges was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 30 days of house arrest after he chained his 7-year-old son to a bed while he was at work.
Hodges’ son wasn’t injured by the heavy chain and had access to snacks, water and a bathroom according to police. Acting on a tip, law enforcement officials found the boy in a middle-class neighborhood in Logan, a city north of Salt Lake City. Defense attorney David Perry argued that Hodges chained his son to a bed because he couldn’t afford day care. Hodges allegedly didn’t want his son running around the neighborhood without adult supervision, though Hodges later admitted that the decision was a thoughtless one.
“This is not an inappropriate way of child care,” prosecutor Jacob Gordon said. “There is no way around it.”
In June, the 29-year-old was charged with four counts of child abuse and pleaded guilty to one count. During his jail sentence, he will be released to work 80 hours of community service. He will also have to take anger management and parenting classes.
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While officials recommended 120 days of house arrest with an ankle monitor, Judge Brandon Maynard ordered jail time since he felt there should be some kind of punishment involved.
“My goal is not to undermine reunification efforts with your son, but rather to reinforce making good parenting decisions,” Maynard said.
Hodges’ son is currently in foster care, though Hodges has the right to unsupervised visitation. He will be allowed overnight visits during the Christmas holiday.