News

Actions

Iowa couple accused of starving their son to take plea deals

Jail Cell
Posted at 5:42 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 18:42:07-05

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) — A couple accused of starving their teenage son, who has special needs, has agreed to plea deals, according to court documents.

Richard Joe Ryan and Jennifer Ryan, of Pleasant Hill, were charged in April of last year with first-degree kidnapping and neglecting a dependent person.

The teenager’s condition came to light when a citizen reported seeing the teenager zip-tied to a chair while his mother worked an eight-hour shift at Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill, KCCI-TV reported.

Doctors at Blank Children’s Hospital said the teenager suffered from severe malnutrition and was only 78 pounds when he arrived at the hospital.

Investigators found the boy was routinely confined to his room, which had an alarm on the door, and was not permitted to eat breakfast, according to court records.

New court documents show Richard Ryan has agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges of false imprisonment, neglect of a dependent person and two counts of child endangerment. He’s scheduled to be sentenced April 1.

Jennifer Ryan also will agree to a plea deal in court on April 1, according to court documents.