A Hooks, Texas, couple allegedly locked a 7-year-old boy out of the family home last month and told him to never return. Now they face child endangerment charges.
Texarkana Gazette reports that Ronald “Keith” Wright, 56, and Rendy Jo Wright, 39, allegedly kicked a 7-year-old boy out of their Hooks home, off of 400 block of County Road 2111, on August 26.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a neighbor told police that the little boy was often over at his house to play with his son. On the day the couple reportedly locked the boy out, the neighbor sent him home for dinner, but the boy returned 10 minutes later and said claimed his mother kicked him out.
The neighbor drove the little boy home, where he noticed the child’s stepfather, Keith Wright, mowing the front lawn. Thinking everything seemed fine, the neighbor let the child out of his truck and drove back home. Ten minutes later, however, the little boy ran back to the neighbor’s house, visibly upset and crying after his stepfather made him leave.
“He [the neighbor] advised that he assumed everything was okay, could see that the family was home, and so he let (the boy) out of his truck at the residence,” the affidavit read. “Keith Wright told him to go away and never return home again, ever. He said that his mother locked him out of the house and told him the same.”
The neighbor immediately called police and when deputies from the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the boy’s home, they found Keith Wright outside, still mowing his lawn. When confronted, the stepfather admitted he locked the 7-year-old out because he “would not mind or do what he was told and he was tired of it.” Rendy Jo Wright echoed her husband’s statements.
The couple also said they spoke to a preacher about the boy, who allegedly informed them that the child was possessed by demons.
Deputies noted that Keith Wright behaved “strangely while being interviewed,” and they asked the parents if they used methamphetamines. According to the affidavit, Keith Wright “would not stand still, kept moving around quickly, had a short attention span, was sweating profusely and constantly moving his hands,” TXK Today reports.
Both denied any drug use on that particular day, but admitted they used meth in the past as “more of a hobby.”
Authorities arrested the suspects and charged them with “abandoning or endangering a child.” If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison. They’re both free on bonds, awaiting their next court hearing.
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[Feature Photo: Police Handout]