A couple in Pennsylvania face at least 10 years behind bars after their three children were found so hungry that they ate paint off the walls, PennLive.com reports.
The couple, Joshua and Brandi Weyant, pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of false imprisonment, unlawful restraining, aggravated assault, conspiracy and child endangerment.
In December 2016, authorities found the kids locked inside a bare, unheated room of the family’s home after a social worker had visited the residence. Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle said the kids were locked in the room as punishment for attempting to steal food.
Josh and Brandi Weyant arrive for prelim hearing. Police say they starved three children under their care. pic.twitter.com/PqwUi0ahxJ
— Dan Gleiter (@DanGleiter) February 6, 2017
Police found a 6-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl and a 4-year-old girl; two of them were on the brink of death from malnutrition, according to the news site. The kids were covered in urine, feces, animal hair and dirt.
“The door to the room was locked from the outside and the paint on the wall was peeled off at the height of the kids,” Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico told People in 2016.
At the time of her arrest, Brandi claimed her husband had abused the children and said she couldn’t be seen in public with them. The Weyants were raising the children but were not their biological mom and dad.
The kids are now in foster care, prosecutors say.
Both Joshua and Brandi Weyant face at least a decade in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May.
The plea deals come after authorities in California in January charged David and Louise Turpin with starving their 13 children, locking them in a room and shackling some of them to their beds.
Joshua Weyant also has pleaded no contest to separate charges of corruption of minors and indecent assault in connection to allegations that he molested a pre-teen girl, PennLive.com reports.
[Feature Photo: Josh and Brandy Weyant/Dauphin County Sheriff’s Office]