Knox County Ky couple take plea regarding 4 year old son
From The Times Tribune
A Cannon woman and man accused of abusing their 4-year-old son by forcing him to inhabit unlivable conditions by locking him in his urine- and feces-filled room accepted agreements with prosecutors Thursday, allowing each to enter a plea in their case in exchange for lesser charges.
Natasha Anne McBee, 24, and Nickalas Adam Jorgenson, 24, appeared separately in Knox Circuit Court for a final pretrial conference ahead of their scheduled Feb. 5 jury trial, which has now been set aside following the couple’s pleas. McBee was the first to stand before Judge Greg Lay, where she entered a guilty plea to first-degree criminal abuse – child under 12 years of age.
McBee’s plea is part of a deal with prosecutors, who have offered to dismiss her remaining counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment and first-degree wanton endangerment at her sentencing. As part of the agreement, prosecutors have recommended that McBee serve seven years in prison—short of the maximum of 10 years for a Class C felony.
A formal sentencing for McBee has been set for Feb. 26 at 1 p.m., where Judge Lay will make a final ruling concerning Wagers’ punishment. At that time, a pre-sentence investigation report—which details the criminal behavior/background of a particular defendant—will be provided to the court for Lay to review before making his ruling.
Jorgenson also entered a guilty plea to charges of first-degree criminal abuse – child under 12 years of age as well as a count of second-degree persistent felony offender. A recommendation by prosecutors was made for Jorgenson to serve eight years on the former count, though that sentence will be enhanced to 12 years due to the latter count. As part of the agreement, prosecutors have offered to dismiss his remaining counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment and first-degree wanton endangerment at his sentencing.
A formal sentencing for Jorgenson has been set for Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. A pre-sentence investigation report will be provided to Judge Lay concerning Jorgenson as well.
In August 2018, deputies with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the pair’s Valentines Branch Road residence after the child allegedly told a social worker that he was locked in his room for long periods of time, sometime so long that he had to use the bathroom in his floor. He also allegedly stated that he would yell to be let out.
While investigating at the residence, deputies learned that the child’s door had a lock on the outside and the window had allegedly been covered with a sheet of wood. In addition, several holes were found in the wall and floor of the room.
McBee and Jorgenson allegedly told deputies that they used the lock as a form of punishment, locking the child in the room for sometimes more than 20 minutes at a time.
The pair was arrested and jailed in the Knox County Detention Center.
McBee later posted bond but was again arrested in later that month after her and Jorgenson were indicted. Both McBee and Jorgenson currently remain in custody.