HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Richard and Cynthia Kelly were charged with aggravated child abuse, a Class B felony, late Monday afternoon.
They are being held at Shelby the County Jail on $1 million bond each.
According to the arrest warrants, the couple is accused of denying food, nourishment and medical care to the boy, who they say was “subjected to forced isolation for extended periods of time.”
Authorities say that “isolation” was disciplinary in nature.
The case has sparked some similarities to a Huntsville case.
In 2005 Natashay Ward was accused of starving her three children to death, but was later found to be mentally unstable.
Her former attorney Mark McDaniel said the starvation angle in the Shelby County case is similar to Wards, but that’s it.
“If this is a situation where they had a child locked into a room, and not feeding him; you got two different people doing it if that’s the case it’s not one person has had a nervous breakdown,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said if Richard and Cynthia Kelly were working together to harm their teenage son, then it’s going to be a hard case to defend.
He said in his opinion, because reports say their teenage son was left in the basement for two years with barely any food or medical treatment; it seems like they knew exactly what they were doing.
He said the investigation is complete we will learn more. Currently the Kelly’s are charged with aggravated child abuse, but the charges could change after the investigation.
“It’s a very serious charge, a class B felony carries a sentence of not less than two years, and up to 20 years in prison,” McDaniel said.