Parents of disabled son found guilty of abuse

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A husband and wife were found guilty of abuse and neglect for failing to properly care for the woman's 26-year-old developmentally disabled son.

William Davis, 52, and Justine Davis, 44, were scheduled for sentencing Friday in Summit County Common Pleas Court before Judge Patricia Cosgrove. They face up to 9 years in prison.

A jury on Thursday found both the husband and wife guilty of felonious assault and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person. Justine Davis cried when the judge read the verdicts.

Police went to check on Edgar Vannoy on April 3, after receiving a call from a man who had stayed at the home. Vannoy, who is 5 feet 5 inches, weighed 92 pounds and was dehydrated when taken to a hospital where he spent three days recovering.

Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Greg Peacock maintained the couple knowingly harmed Vannoy. Vannoy's room was empty except for a bed with a feces- and urine-stained mattress and top sheet, according to testimony. There was duct tape on the bedroom door and handcuffs on the bed, Peacock said.

Defense attorneys Brian Pierce and John Greven, said their clients didn't know any better.

"Just because you are poor and dirty, I hope that doesn't mean (the state) can turn that against you and make you a criminal," Greven said.

Vannoy, who is living in a foster home and now weighs 135 pounds, was not competent to testify.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)