Ohio Couple Sentenced In Case Of Child Chained To Crib During Fire

COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) -- A couple convicted of leaving their 4-year-old daughter chained to a crib while they escaped a July house fire were each given prison time Wednesday.

Coshocton County Common Pleas Judge Richard Evans sentenced Ridgley Allington, 36, to two years in prison, while Gerald Stewart, 33, received four years because of prior convictions.

Defense attorney Terry Baxter argued that Stewart and Allington have emotional issues that made them incapable of caring for Karen Stewart. Baxter said he had been hoping each would receive a form of strict probation.

Stewart and Allington were each convicted in November of felony child endangering, which carries a maximum penalty of eight years in prison.

Baxter said he's considering appealing their convictions.

Authorities said the couple left behind Karen Stewart, now 5 and in foster care, when they escaped a July 23 fire at their Coshocton duplex. Firefighters rescued the youngster, and she was hospitalized 11 days to treat second-degree burns.

The couple had been chaining Karen to the bed because they thought it was the only way to keep her from hurting herself while they slept, according to testimony during the trial by Daniel Davis, a Columbus psychologist who interviewed the couple and their daughter.

Prosecutor Bob Batchelor said the state's request to get permanent custody of Karen is pending in juvenile court in Coshocton.