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Newark — Parents Arrested After Their Starving Children Found Locked in Dog Kennel Cage

Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2019 at 12:43 am by Williams Hart    

At around 7:20 a.m. on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, officers found four malnourished children under the age of 6, two of which were locked in a dog kennel cage, in a home in Wise County.

According to Sheriff Lane Akin, officers were called to investigate a family-violence incident at a home off County Road 4930 between Newark and Rhome. The officers were talking with Paige Harkings and Andrew Fabila when they heard children inside a barn on the property. They found four children inside the barn, and the oldest two children were locked in a dog kennel measuring about 3 feet by 3 feet. The other two were found practically naked on the floor of the barn and covered in urine and feces.

Harkings and Fabila were then both charged with four counts of endangering a child and were arrested. Harkings was also charged with aggravated assault.

The children were all brought to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. They were released from the hospital on Tuesday evening and have now been placed in foster care.

It is unfortunate to hear of what happened to the children in this scenario. Alas, there are other countless victims who suffered the same fate. In a lot of cases, simple assaults that involve bodily injury to another person are considered as Class A misdemeanors; however, the charge can change drastically if the alleged victim is a child (a person who is 14 years of age or younger), elderly person (a person who is 65 years or older), or a disabled person (a person who is substantially unable to protect themselves from harm or to provide food, shelter, or medical for themselves, or who has autism spectrum disorder, developmental disability, intellectual disability, severe emotional disturbance, or traumatic brain injury). If this is the case, then the allegation becomes a felony.

A charge of injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person can be identified as either criminal negligence or omission. Criminal negligence is when intentional, knowing, or reckless states of mind are not present in the case. In the meantime, omission results in an offense if the omission causes an injury defined under the statute and the alleged offender has a legal duty to act, a statutory duty to act, or assumed care, custody, or control of a child, elderly, or disabled individual. This is more often than not applicable to parents or guardians, caregivers, or owners, operators, employees of group homes, nursing facilities, and the like.

An injury to a child, elderly person, or disabled person by criminal negligence or omission can be devastating to the victims and their respective families. Thankfully, there are lawyers who specialize in cases like this. That is why, if you are a victim of this kind of offense, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate to ask help from these lawyers. They will help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

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