The Supreme Court has rejected the appeals from Sandy and Casey Parsons, the adoptive parents of missing teenager Erica Parsons, to have their prison sentences reduced. Sandy and Casey were both convicted last year for collecting monthly assistance checks for their adopted daughter, even after she disappeared years prior.
It’s a complex and heartbreaking story, but you can read my initial posts about Erica HERE.
Though Sandy and Casey were never charged in connection with Erica’s disappearance, the judge made it clear at sentencing for their fraud charges that they were responsible. From The Charlotte Observer:
In the original sentencing in Winston-Salem, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder said he gave the couple stiffer sentences than the federal guidelines recommended because of testimony that described the couple’s cruel treatment of Erica, who was an infant when she came to the Parsons household in Rowan County.
Members of the Parsons family testified before Schroeder that the girl was trapped in a cycle of cruel physical and emotional abuse. Erica was fed dog food as punishment for stealing food or sweets, was often locked in a closet and was frequently made to stand in a corner rather than being allowed to play with other children, they said.
Even though family members testified about the abuse they witnessed, neither Sandy nor Casey were ever charged with abusing Erica…or at least they haven’t been charged yet.
Casey pleaded guilty in October 2014 to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, five counts of mail fraud, four counts of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return, four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Sandy attempted to fight the charges but was found guilty in October 2014 of one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of false statement to a government agency, 20 counts of theft of government funds and 20 counts of mail fraud. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Casey and Sandy both appealed their sentences, saying that they were too harsh and that a normal sentence for those crimes would be three to five years.
And thankfully, they were denied.
Erica is still missing and would be 16-years-old today, if she’s still alive.