A North Bend couple who let a severely disabled teen starve as her teeth rotted away likely won’t serve any jail time.
Paid by the state to care for the blind, cerebral palsy-striken young woman, April and Jeffrey Henderson faced felony charges after she was pulled from their home two years ago. Naked except for a diaper, the young woman was caked in her own filth and weighed only 67 pounds.
The Hendersons pleaded guilty in September to second-degree criminal mistreatment, a felony that usually draws a nine-month jail sentence for first-time offenders.
King County prosecutors asked for a little more jail time for April Henderson – 12 months – and a six-month jail term for Jeff Henderson. The defense asked that both be cut a break – no jail, just probation.
King County Superior Court Judge Carol Schapira split the difference Friday, sentencing both Hendersons to nine-months on electronic home detention. Doing so, she spared both any jail time unless they violate the conditions of their release.
Coincidently, nine months is more or less the amount of time they’ve admitted to ignoring the needs of then-19-year-old young woman.
When investigators arrived at the wooded, rural home, on Oct. 25, 2012, they found the teen naked except for a diaper, left in a room littered with soiled clothing, dried vomit and trash. Weighing just 67 pounds, the girl was described as “skeletal” by the case detective.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Amanda Froh described the abuse as “horrific,” and nearly fatal.