The charges have been upgraded for the three individuals accused of tying up children in the backyard of a northeast Bexar County home, announced District Attorney Nico LaHood.
According to the Bexar County District Attorney's office, Porucha Phillips, age 34, Deandre Dorch, age 36, and Cheryl Reed, age 30, are now charged with Injury to a Child – Serious Bodily Injury and Child Abandonment.
The trio had previously been charged with Injury to a Child – Bodily Injury – a charge that would only allow for a sentence up to 10 years in prison.
The upgraded charges allow the State to seek punishment up to life in prison on all three defendants.
The charges are from an incident on April 28, 2016, when Bexar County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the 8100 block of Chipping after they received a 911 call from a resident of the area. Neighbors told deputies they heard a child cry for several hours.
When deputies arrived at the location, they found two unsupervised toddlers, ages three and four, in the backyard. One of the toddlers was chained to the ground, said deputies. The other toddler was tied to a door with a dog leash.
Deputies set both children free and immediately transported them to the hospital for treatment. The two children had numerous injuries.
Inside the home, deputies found six children, ranging in age from 10 months old to 10-years-old. All of the children were without adult supervision. All of the children are in the care of Child Protective Services.
According to the Bexar County District Attorney's office, Injury to a Child – Serious Bodily Injury is a first degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Child Abandonment is a second degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine.
Phillips, Dorch, and Reed are awaiting trial out of the 187th District Court. The District Attorney’s Office Child Abuse Unit will be prosecuting the cases against the defendants.