An ER nurse from North Carolina who handcuffed his 11-year-old foster son to a porch and hung a dead chicken around his neck as a punishment for bad behavior pleaded guilty to the charges against him and was sentenced to 6 to 10 years behind bars.
Dorian Harper accepted guilt for three felonies, including child abuse, assault with a deadly weapon, and maiming without malice. When asked by the judge if he was guilty of the charges against him, Harper said, “Yes, sir,” rejecting a plea deal and requesting that the trial proceed.
After the child was found by police in November, 2013, Harper and his girlfriend Wanda Larson were arrested.
As Judge Brad Long told the jury on Tuesday, “This is a very serious case, with very serious implications for Mr. Harper.”
As well as handcuffing the child to the porch, Harper also allegedly abused him with an electric wire used to burn his face, as well as a knife.
Following the incident, another of the couple’s children, a 20-year-old man, said that Larson and Harper provided a “loving and caring home,” adding that while he didn’t condone the punishment his brother received, he said it was necessary to protect the other members of the family.
As the man said about the child victim in 2013, “Everyone says this is some sweet innocent kid when in actuality, he is not. He has been to counseling, he is on numerous heavy medications, but nothing has worked.”
Union County Sheriff deputies plan to interview the other four children, as it is claimed the parents cared for the other children well. As the Sheriff’s office said, “Everyone assumed all five children in the home have been abused, that is not accurate. You ask all four of the children, they will say they lived in a loving and caring home.”
While the conditions inside the family home were also reported to be dire, Captain Ronnie Whitaker, who attended the scene, said, “It’s just shocking. It’s just disturbing that anyone would treat a child in such a manner.”