SC grandparents plead guilty to abuse with 'goat whips and shock collars'

Published: Jul. 26, 2010 at 2:48 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2010 at 2:14 PM EDT
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Cheri Crawford (Source: WBTV)
Cheri Crawford (Source: WBTV)
James Crawford (Source: WBTV)
James Crawford (Source: WBTV)

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - Two Chesterfield grandparents will spend at least the next seven years in prison for abusing their three grandchildren.

James Crawford and his wife, Cheri Crawford, pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful neglect of a child or helpless person.  The couple admitted in court that they abused their grandchildren, ages 8, 10 and 12, starting in July 2009.

In court proceeding, it was revealed that one of the brothers was forced to physically abuse his brothers with a shock collar.  Fourth Circuit Assistant Solicitor Adam M. Foard told WBTV before the court hearing that the couple used goat whips and shock collars on all three children.

The Crawfords forced one of the boys to live in a trailer without electricity, another was forced to live in a utility shed without air conditioning. The third grandson was able to live in the house with the grandparents.

During court Monday morning, it was revealed that the boys were forced to rake pine needles from 'sun up to sun down' and were forced to stand military style in the yard.

The boys were even forced to stand up for most of the meals they were served, which prosecutors say was 'sour food.'

The boys were forced to use a bucket inside a tent as a bathroom.

James Crawford was sentenced to 7 years in prison, while his wife was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Both were also sentenced to 5 years of probation.

Assistant Solicitor Kendall Burch told WBTV the children lived with their grandparents after their father was murdered several years ago in Missouri.

All three boys are now in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

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