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Georgia parents accused of child abuse demand release from prison and $540M

Therian and Recardo Wimbush (Photo Source: Gwinnett County Jail)

Therian and Recardo Wimbush (Photo Source: Gwinnett County Jail)

In 2014, Therian and Recardo Wimbush committed a horrific act of child cruelty that sent them to prison. The married couple was accused of locking their then 13-year-old son in a basement bedroom for as long as two years. At the time of the arrest, Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Jake Smith stated in a report, “The victim had been confined to the room for most of the past two years and a lock had been added to the victim’s room in January 2013. The victim had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices, or his siblings.”

The couple was charged with malicious and intentional cruelty to children and false imprisonment and turned themselves in voluntarily to police. The couple has nine other children, all of whom have been home-schooled and according to DFCS investigators are extremely bright.

Therian and Recardo Wimbush met and married when they were students at Georgia Tech. Recardo was a football star and team captain in 2002 and Therian was a tutor and earned dual degrees from Spelman College and Tech. The couple follows a strict religious doctrine based on the Torah, the first five books of Jewish scripture in the Bible. They claimed they were punishing their son for taking the family DVD player and then lying about the incident.

The case in Gwinnett County Georgia has been a complex one for the courts and state social services agencies. The couple’s children are in the care of DFCS while the parents have remained incarcerated since 2014. The couple has been acting as their own attorney during this time and most recently filed a motion with the court. This week the couple gave a handwritten plea to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office asking for the dropping of all charges, release from prison and $540M in restitution over their arrest. The restitution amount is a demand for “$600,000 per day for each day that they have spent falsely imprisoned in the Gwinnett County Jail.” The couple apparently realized the amount of money demanded was quite high and offered a payment plan for 60 percent upon their release, and the remainder “over the subsequent two years, payable on the first of each month beginning on Feb. 1, 2017.”

The couple has filed numerous motions and other legal actions related to their case and acting as their own lawyers. In June 2015, Therian Wimbush filed a lawsuit against six child services workers, three judges, two attorneys, one police detective and an “anonymous caller.”