Parents sentenced to 20 years after locking son in basement

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A judge has sentenced two people to 20 years each in prison after a jury found them guilty of child cruelty charges.

Recardo and Therian Wimbush were found guilty of cruelty, but they were more negligent than malicious.

Therian and Recardo Wimbush both wanted to be let out on time served for abusing two of their 10 children but the judge said no way, giving them each 30 year sentences, with 20 years in prison

Therian Wimbush, who has fought judges and lawyers every step of the way during this case, for the first time admitted she was responsible for locking her oldest son in a basement for 18 months.

Judge Deborah Fluker called the parents’ actions incomprehensible, inhumane and harsh. And she told them her sentencing was no judgement on their religious beliefs or corporal punishment.

Both parents told the judge they want to parent again.

“As far as what we did, you know, it wasn't right,” Recardo Wimbush said. “I'm willing and most definitely hoping that the court will grant me the opportunity to be able to be rehabilitated.”

“I so want to go hug my little Recardo, let him know that I’m sorry,” Therian Wimbush said. “Hug my other nine and tell them it's not them. It’s all mommy's fault.”

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The judge also put strict restrictions on the Wimbush parents. They can't have any contact with the two sons they are accused of abusing until the sons are 21 and want to have contact.  They can only have supervise contact with the other children.

The judge called the parents actions inhumane and harsh.

The Wimbush parents will now fight in juvenile court to keep custody of their children.

“My husband and my children are my world,” Therian Wimbush said.

The Department of Family and Children Services acted on an anonymous tip in 2014 and the parents were arrested in Gwinnett County.

The jury found both parents not guilty of the four more serious first-degree charges but guilty on three counts of second-degree cruelty.