A woman accused of abandoning her nine-year-old son accepted a plea deal in court today. The woman, Lisa Cox, was facing child abandonment charges alongside her husband Cleveland Cox after they abandoned their adopted nine year old son at a children’s services building.
Court documents show that the parents left their son at the building without telling him they never intended to pick him up. The child was left with a bag of clothes and a note from his mother saying she would always love him. According to Anthony VanNoy, the attorney representing the parents, the child has behavioral problems that had become too pervasive for them to handle. Prior to abandoning the child, the parents report he threatened to kill them with a knife.
Regardless of circumstances, the parents were charged with nonsupport of a dependent. That charge is punishable with a six month prison sentence and a $1,000 fine. After accepting the plea deal, Cox will only be convicted of attempted nonsupport of dependents. The lesser conviction will send her to jail for 90 days.
The charges against father Cleveland Cox were dropped because the judge ruled that jeopardizing the man’s employment “would not have been in the best interest of justice or society.”
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VanNoy said the child is now in counseling and his parents are attending the sessions with him. Lisa Cox’s light sentence is dependent on her and Cleveland’s continued efforts towards reunification with their son.
Prosecutor Michael Gmoser says he is satisfied with the outcome of the case.
“I feel justice was served,” he said. “There was no justification for abandonment, but there were mitigating circumstances with respect to the frustration that the family was having toward the issues they were facing on a daily basis.”