By Natalie Johnson / firstname.lastname@example.org
A Centralia couple who pleaded guilty last month to years of abuse against a child in their care failed to appear for their sentencing hearings Wednesday, leading Superior Court Judge Joely O’Rourke to issue no-bail warrants for their arrest.
“I know neither defense counsel has had contact with their clients today,” Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said, before asking for the warrants.
Mary G. Foxworth, 43, and Anthony S. Foxworth, 45, each pleaded guilty in October to one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment. The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office planned to recommend a sentence of 51 months, or more than four years in prison, for both of them.
Both Foxworths have been out of police custody on bail for the duration of the case.
They appeared for their first hearings in a response to a court summons. Neither has previously missed a court date in the case, Halstead said.
Mary and Anthony Foxworth’s court appointed attorneys — Chris Baum and Jacob Clark — said their clients were aware of the sentencing date. However, neither had contact with their clients since Monday.
“At this point, I don’t know what’s going on,” Baum told the judge.
According to court documents, Mary and Anthony Foxworth were accused of causing “great bodily harm” to one of the children in their care between January 2007 and January 2016.
Law enforcement became aware of the neglect in January 2016 after the Foxworths took the boy to doctors reporting that he hadn’t eaten in three weeks. The boy was unable to talk and weighed 54 pounds.
He was later transferred to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital where doctors discovered he had the skeletal age of a 13-year-old, was missing patches of hair, could not stand and could not open his mouth far enough for a doctor to check his throat. He had 24 teeth in need of cavity repair, root canals, crowns or extraction.
He was diagnosed with severe malnutrition, severe constipation, an intestinal blockage, anemia and neglect.
Since then, he has been in the care of a foster family and his condition has improved. Two other children were removed from the Foxworths’ care and are in foster care.
The courtroom was packed Wednesday afternoon in anticipation of the scheduled sentencings with members of the Bikers Against Child Abuse.
BACA board member “Chop Chop,” who explained that no one in the group gives out their real names, said the group got involved in the victim’s case after getting notification of the situation.
The chapter is based in the Longview area, but serves Lewis County. They provide support to children who have suffered from documented child abuse.
“They’re part of our family,” he said of the children the group supports. Each child eventually gets a motorcycle vest with the phone numbers of the two members specifically assigned to provide support and guidance.
“We give them a Teddy bear that’s been hugged by everyone in the group and we fill it full of love,” Chop Chop said.