Michael Marshall and Sharon Glass of Titusville, Florida were arrested on Thursday, March 14 after police allegedly found Marshall’s 12-year-old son starving in his home, located on Barna Avenue in Titusville. Marshall and Glass, his live-in girlfriend, have been charged with three counts each of aggravated child abuse for unlawful caging of a child and one count each of aggravated child neglect. Both have been denied bond and remain incarcerated at Brevard County Jail. It is unclear whether either Marshall, 38, or Glass, 48, has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
The police report indicates that the Titusville Police Department received an anonymous tip stating that the boy was being abused. When they arrived at the home to investigate the claims, they allegedly found the 12-year-old boy locked in a bathroom, where he was lying on the floor in the fetal position. According to reports, he had been denied food as a punishment for breaking a rule and had tried to steal some, leading to his confinement in the bathroom. He reportedly asked police officers if he could have something to eat when they found him.
Police believe that the boy was also locked in a cage inside of a closet and tied to a bed. Marshall and Glass reportedly confessed to confining and restraining the boy in these manners as a method of punishment. Apparently no one had seen the boy for nearly one and a half years, during which time officials believe he was being neglected and abused inside the home. After the boy’s school raised child neglect allegations in 2010, Marshall reportedly pulled his son from school, saying that he would home school him.
The youth, who is turning 13 next week, reportedly weighed 40 pounds when authorities found him (boys his age normally weight 80 pounds). The report compares the boy’s condition to that of a concentration camp survivor and says that he was both dehydrated and emaciated when he was found. Marshall told a reporter, when the reporter stated that Marshall had almost killed the youth, that he “didn’t mean to.”
The boy was treated at the hospital before being turned over to the Department of Children and Families. Some reports indicate that the boy was taken in by a foster family, while others report that he was placed in the custody of his paternal grandmother. “If the grandmother has ignored these symptoms in the past, I want to make sure that the grandmother is educated on what the child’s needs are, so make sure that’s accomplished,” the judge in the case could be heard saying on a televised clip of the court proceedings.
There were apparently several other young children living at the home, but officials aren’t sure if they were subjected to the same child abuse as their elder sibling. One child is Marshall’s 10-year-old daughter; the other is Glass’ 5-year-old son. Both children received medical treatment before being taken in by the Department of Children and Families. “No doubt that the younger two have been subjected to mental abuse,” said a DCF spokesperson.