Florida man accused of locking son in small structure convicted of abuse

A Florida man who was accused of locking his adopted 14-year-old son in a small structure in a garage was convicted on child abuse and other charges Thursday, according to court records.

Tim Ferriter, now 48, and his wife Tracy were arrested last year on allegations that the boy had been locked in the 8-by-8-foot structure at various times, Jupiter police have said. The boy said the longest was 16 to 18 hours, according to court records.

A jury convicted Ferriter on Thursday on charges of aggravated child abuse, false imprisonment and neglect of a child.

In courtroom video shown by NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach, Ferriter takes a deep breath as the verdicts are read but his face shows no emotion.

A trial date for Tracy Ferriter has not yet been set, according to the station.

The couple was arrested in February 2022 after detectives visited their Jupiter home on Jan. 30 after their son had been reported as a runaway, police said at the time.

They found the structure, which Tracy Ferriter claimed was used for office space, with a lock and deadbolt operated on the outside and a video camera, police said.

The boy told detectives that he would be locked in the room, and a sibling said that the boy would be kept in there when misbehaving, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Defense attorneys argued in the trial that Ferriter was frustrated by his inability to control his son’s bad behavior and made poor parenting decisions as a result, but they were not criminal, WPTV reported.

The charges carry a combined maximum 40 years in state prison, but prosecutors have not determined what sentence they will seek, a spokesman for the State Attorney Office for the 15th Judicial Circuit said.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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