Father gets six months for putting kids in boxes

STEUBENVILLE – The father who admitted to putting his kids in plastic containers on June 16 as a form of punishment was sentenced Thursday to six months in the Eastern Ohio Correction Center by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson.

James A. Taylor, 30, and his wife, Samantha M. Taylor, 26, both of 1321 Oregon Ave., pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of endangering children, a felony count of child endangering and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful restraint.

The county prosecutor’s office also wanted James Taylor to serve an additional six months in jail after his time in the Eastern Ohio Correction Center but Henderson only ordered the six months at EOCC. James Taylor will be on probation for two years. Sentencing is pending for Samantha Taylor, who is the stepmother of the children.

Glenn A. Adams, 28, of 1321 Oregon Ave., and Daniel A. McKenney, 22, of 201 Bartleyville Road, Burgettstown, who were present when the kids were put into the containers, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unlawful restraint. They were put on probation for one year.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said the Taylors put three children, ages 8, 6 and 5 at the time, inside plastic storage containers as punishment.

City Police reported holes were cut in the lids, At some point, water was poured on the children inside the containers, police reported. At some point, the holes were covered with a T-shirt, police reported.

A call was made to county children services about the incident and a city officer investigated and interviewed the children. The children were removed, placed in the care of children services and are now living with a grandfather.

James Taylor said the children were playing in the basement when they knocked the plastic containers down, breaking other items.

Taylor said the children, who played in the containers, wouldn’t stand in the corner for 10 minutes so he said he gave the kids the option of having the containers cut up or they could spend 10 minutes inside the plastic bins. Taylor said the kids chose to be placed in the containers.

After the kids were placed in the containers. the Taylors left to go to the grocery store.

James Taylor said Adams and McKenney, an uncle of the children, were supposed to let the kids out of the containers.

A woman came to the home in the meantime and let the kids out of the containers.

Assistant County Prosecutor Jeffrey Bruzzese said the kids were in the containers for about 25 minutes.

Also, Ronnie L. Smallwood, 37, of Columbus was sentenced to 60 days in jail by Henderson on Thursday after Smallwood pleaded guilty to felony operating a vehicle under the influence.

Smallwood has three or more OVI convictions within six years.

Henderson ordered Smallwood pay a $1,350 fine and his driver’s license be suspended for three years.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)