A Texas couple allegedly locked a 7-year-old boy out of their home and told him never to return because they believed he was posessed by demons, prompting the filing of child endangerment charges against both, according to multiple reports.
According to the Texarkana Gazette, police allege that on Aug. 26, 56-year-old Ronald Wright and his 39-year-old wife, Rendy Wright, forced her young son out of their home. The child was allegedly told by his mother and stepfather that he was being kicked out of the house for misbehaving.
Authorities were dispatched to the Wrights’ home in Hooks, Texas, after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor, who told deputies the boy told him he was not allowed to go home, the paper reports.
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The neighbor told police the boy had spent the majority of the day at his home, playing with his son. That evening, when he told the boy it was time to go, the boy agreed to leave but returned 10 minutes later.
The boy allegedly told the neighbor his mother had locked him out of the house, reports KTBS.
The neighbor drove the boy home, and dropped him off after seeing Keith Wright outside, mowing his lawn. Ten minutes later, the boy was allegedly back at the neighbor’s home, crying, according to the station.
The child, court papers allege, said that “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.”
Police went to speak with Keith Wright, who allegedly confirmed the boy had been banished.
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When asked why, Wright allegedly told investigators the child “would not mind or do what he was told and he was tired of it,” and the boy’s mother backed up Wright’s statement, according to EastTexasRadio.com.
Both Wrights allegedly told police they had consulted a preacher about the child’s behavior, and were told he is possessed by demons.
Police allege the couple confessed to casually using methamphetamine.
The husband and wife are charged with abandoning or endangering a child, and are free on bonds of $35,000, according to court records.
Calls to the home were not returned Thursday, and it was unclear if either defendant had hired an attorney.