Mom, 24, admits abusing her four-year-old autistic son who was beaten, starved, locked in a closet and lost several toes to gangrene. A woman accus
Mom, 24, admits abusing her four-year-old autistic son who was beaten, starved, locked in a closet and lost several toes to gangrene.
A woman accused of locking her four-year-old autistic son in a closet without access to food, water or the restroom has pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse.
Megan Schug, 24, entered her guilty plea on Tuesday in Calhoun County, Michigan circuit court.
She faces the possibility of life in prison when she is sentenced on April 13.
Her defense attorney, Ronald Pichlik, told the Battle Creek Enquirer that Schug did not strike a plea deal with prosecutors for a lesser sentence.
She may testify against her boyfriend, Isaac Miller, at his trial next month and could ‘hope for some consideration for her cooperation,’ he said.
Prosecutors said Schug and Miller tormented Schug’s son Maloyd Gaines by making him fight with his half-siblings, who tore clumps out of his hair.
They say Miller, who is the father to two of Schug’s four children, singled him out.
In June, Schug wept in court as prosecutors described the condition her son was in when he was rescued.
She took him to hospital on march 22, 2017 because he was having trouble staying awake and was not eating, they said.
Once doctors examined him, they say the abuse was clear and he was taken out of their care.
‘He was very thin to the point he was very sickly. He had abrasions and cuts and rashes all over his body.
‘His toes were blackened and swollen and his hands also were swollen,’ Michael Zaleski, a Child Protection Services case worker who was called to the hospital, told the trial which was attended by The Detroit Free Press. Maloyd later lost several toes to a gangrene infection.
When Zaleski visited the home that night, he found there was no furniture except for a small couch, TV and TV stand and human waste littered the floors.
Once in custody, Maloyd’s mother admitted locking him in a closet, sometimes overnight, for punishment.
She told them she carried out the abuse at Miller’s request because she was scared he would hurt her if she didn’t.
‘At nighttime, they would lock him in the closet and sometime in the morning open the closet,’ Detective Ray Strunk said.
They deprived him from food for a day or two at a time and beat him with wooden slates when he refused to hold a crate as another form of punishment, the detective claimed.
Schug told police that despite her son’s filthy condition, she was not allowed to bathe him unless Miller was present, which she claimed was seldom.
Her only apparent attempt to treat him was to rub petroleum jelly on his wounds, the policeman said.
After her arrest in March, Schug’s relatives tearfully told local media outlets that they feared for his well-being and had tried to remove him from the couple’s care but were denied.
‘I asked my sister, can I take my nephew, she said no. I knew he was being beat up by Mike,’ Morgan Schug told WWMT.
She claimed to have seen him beating the boy with a switch. It’s not clear whether she reported her concerns to police.