Man Gets 10 Years in Prison for Forcing Son to Live in Garage

10-25-05 - A Denton man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges he forced a teenage son to live in the garage without heat, bathroom facilities or enough food or water while the family lived in a four-bedroom home.

Lorenzo Reid, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to injury to a child as part of a plea agreement.

His wife, Nadia Reid, 34, was placed on seven years probation after being convicted by a jury this month of the same charge.

About a year ago, police found the 14-year-old boy in the garage after neighbors reported he would ask them for food, begging them not to tell his father.

Detectives discovered the boy slept on a mattress on the floor, defecated in the backyard and was allowed in the house only to clean it. The boy told police he had not gone to school in three years.

"He was being denied the rights a young boy should have. He was denied school. He was deprived of a lot of things. We're very pleased that justice was served," Detective Sgt. Scott Jenkins said in a story in Tuesday's editions of the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Jenkins was one of the officers who found the boy on Nov. 5.

Police said the boy's 4-year-old sister would sneak bread from her childcare center for him. He was allowed outside to take out the trash and walk the dogs, which is when he would ask neighbors for help.

His 7- and 4-year-old half-sisters told police that they had to spy on him to ensure he didn't eat anything. They said he was "grounded for life" because he told other people their family secrets.

Lorenzo Reid said the boy "was just greedy," according to court documents.

Child Protective Services has placed all the children in a foster home together. Both grandmothers are seeking custody of the children.

The boy's birth mother gave him up as an infant. Lorenzo Reid and his mother raised the boy until he married Nadia about nine years ago.

At a hearing, a psychologist said the boy's feelings switch between resenting his treatment and believing that it was deserved. He sees the world as a place where he has to fend for himself, where people in authority are mean.