WA couple acquitted in 'caged children' case
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- Jurors have acquitted a Vancouver, Wash., man and woman who had been charged with unlawful imprisonment for keeping two young autistic boys in a dark room with a cage-like door.
The Clark County Superior Court jury was asked to decide whether John Eckhart and Alayna Higdon confined Eckhart's sons, then ages 5 and 7, for convenience or to keep them safe.
Jurors took only about four hours to return a verdict Tuesday.
The Columbian reports (http://is.gd/LPlRFJ ) that Eckhart collapsed in his lawyer's arms at the news and Higdon began weeping. The newspaper says the two are no longer a couple but embraced after the verdict.
One boy is in foster care and the other is with his biological mother.
Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com