130 Years in Prison Recommended for Okla. Parents Convicted in 'Worst Case of Child Abuse' Seen by Police
An Oklahoma mom and dad each face a long stay behind bars after a jury recommended a sentence of 130 years each following the pair’s conviction for what a police officer termed the “worst case of child abuse” he’d seen.
The 9-month-old twin girls of parents Aislyn Miller, 24, and Kevin Fowler, 25, weighed roughly eight pounds each when they were hospitalized last December and the parents were arrested following a visit with the toddlers to an urgent care clinic, according to records obtained by PEOPLE.
The family’s Collinsville residence had cat feces smeared on the walls and maggots in the girls’ playpen, according to testimony from an investigator for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, reports The Tulsa World.
Authorities say a maggot emerged from a wound in one of the emaciated girls, according to the Associated Press.
Jurors in Tulsa County convicted Miller and Fowler on Friday on five counts of child neglect, and later recommended that each serve 30 years apiece in prison on the first four counts and 10 years on the fifth count.
Formal sentencing will take place Nov. 13.
Steven Vincent, the defense attorney for Miller and Fowler, was not immediately available to speak to PEOPLE. It was not immediately clear if the parents planned to appeal.
The parents told authorities they felt overwhelmed as the working parents of four small children without enough outside help, according to testimony in the case, and Vincent said during an earlier hearing that their request for government aid had been denied since they both had full-time jobs.
Maternal grandparents John and Cathey Miller also are set to be tried next April on allegations they enabled child abuse and neglect, reports KJRH.
In addition, Rita Fowler, the children’s paternal grandmother, faces multiple charges on child neglect counts related to the case.
The grandparents have pleaded not guilty.
“It’s what we would term as shocking and heinous,” Kristi Simpson, an investigator for the state Department of Human Services, testified during a preliminary hearing on the case, according to the World.
Nurses at the urgent care clinic noticed that both twins had severe diaper rash and bed sores, with feces in one child’s ear and a strand of hair wrapped so tightly around a finger of the other child that the finger had become infected, according to the arrest reports obtained by PEOPLE.
One child was described in police reports as looking like a “skeleton.”
Miller allegedly said the couple did not have health insurance, and thus allowed the children’s health problems to persist.
Both children were taken into state custody upon the arrest of the parents.