FORT WAYNE – A woman accused of ignoring the abuse her four children suffered at the hands of a man who lived with her will not spend any time behind bars, an Allen Superior Court judge ruled Monday.
Breezy Parker, 27, who was charged with four felony counts of neglect of a dependent and who had previously pleaded guilty to all of them, was given an eight-year prison term for each count during her sentencing hearing.
But Judge John Surbeck suspended each sentence.
“If I were to (sentence her to prison) I don’t think any real interest would be served, other than we might all momentarily feel better,” Surbeck said.
Allen County prosecutors alleged that Parker was told by her children as well as family members that 22-year-old Antonio Henderson was abusing them, yet she did nothing to step in and stop the abuse.
Henderson, who is also facing charges, is accused of whipping, beating and choking the children as well as threatening to put them in cages with snakes, according to court documents.
When examined at a hospital, the children all had injuries.
The 1 year old girl had scratches, scrapes, bruises and red marks, as well as a skull fracture. A 4-year-old boy had battered eyes. The children were also kept in a cold home without electricity, according to court testimony.
While Allen County prosecutors asked Surbeck to sentence Parker to prison time, he decided that it wasn’t appropriate.
“The purpose of sentencing is not to send a message to the community,” he said.
Parker will have supervised visits with her children for the next six months.
In testimony Monday, it was indicated the Department of Child Services would like to reunite Parker with her children completely at some time.