Former GA Tech star, wife in court on child cruelty charges

Image 1 of 6

Tensions were high inside a Gwinnett County courtroom Wednesday as a former Georgia Tech football star, Recardo Wimbush and his wife, Therian Wimbush defended themselves against child cruelty charges.

"You sound so argumentative," said defendant Therian Wimbush to the judge during the hearing.

Another time, the judge having to scold Therian.

"This is a court of law so if you cannot conduct yourself appropriately you will abandon your motions,"  said Judge Deborah Fluker.

At one point during the hearing, that lasted more than eight hours, Therian attempted to swear in the judge.

Authorities said the two parents locked their then 13-year-old son inside the basement of their Buford home for nearly two years.  The arrest warrant said the teen was let out of the room two to three times a day to eat, use the bathroom and occasionally brush his teeth, but never went upstairs or saw his nine siblings.

The parents were denied bond after being arrested in June of 2014.

During the hearing Wednesday, the judge had to guide Therian as she fought motions in her child cruelty case, including wanting the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office to recuse themselves from the case.

The state called witnesses, including an attorney and Division of Family and Children Services case manager who both met with the teen.

"He indicated to me that he was confined to a small room in the basement, his mother visited him a couple times a day to take him to the restroom, otherwise he had a plastic jar in his room should he need to relieve himself," said attorney LeAnne Chancey.

"He appeared unkempt, he seemed frail, sort of pale, his hair was way up here," said DEFACS case manager, Patricia Boone.

The parents face a list of charges including child cruelty and false imprisonment.