Woman Sentenced for 50 Years for Chaining up Toddlers in Backyard

click to enlarge Porucha Phillips - BEXAR COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Bexar County Sheriff's Office
Porucha Phillips

A woman responsible for chaining up two toddlers in her backyard with dog leashes has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

According to a Bexar County press release, 34-year-old Porucha Phillips was sentenced Friday for two counts of serious bodily injury to a child after reaching a plea deal with the county. Phillips was initially arrested in April 2016 after her neighbor called 911 to report that a child had been crying for hours next door. When the police arrived, they found two children, ages 3 and 4, chained up like dogs in the backyard of a house where Phillips and Deandre Dorch lived.

The youngest toddler had her arms tied to a doorknob with a dog leash, and was suffering from hypothermia and an untreated broken arm. Her older brother had a metal dog chain locked around his ankle and cemented to the ground. Investigators said the pair had hundreds of scars from months, if not years, of neglect and abuse.

The two toddlers belonged to Cheryl Reed, who had allegedly left them with Phillips while she was visiting California. Officers found Phillips' six children, ranging in ages 10 months to 11 years old, inside the house without adult supervision. Officers arrested all three adults, but Phillips is the only one who's been sentenced at this point. According to the county, Dorch and Reed still face criminal charges of child abandonment and injury to a child.

Phillips won't be eligible for parole for 25 years.

“What Porucha Phillips did to these children is beyond my understanding. Children are gifts from the Lord and should be treated as such," said District Attorney Nico LaHood in a statement. “I promise to continue my push for increased punishments for these chronic abusers during the next legislative session. Let me be clear, anyone that abuses those who cannot defend themselves ... will be dealt with swiftly and harshly.”

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