Missouri couple sentenced in case of man locked in bedroom

PINEVILLE, Mo. (AP) – A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing government check intended for an elderly man who was found padlocked in a bedroom in their home.

The Joplin Globe reports that 47-year-old Kevin Miller and 50-year-old Janice Miller of Goodman pleaded guilty Tuesday to financial exploitation of an elderly person. The plea deal dismissed kidnapping and armed criminal action charges. The couple received a suspended sentence.

The Millers were arrested after a McDonald County deputy, acting on an anonymous tip, found 79-year-old Herbert Spell inside a padlocked bedroom of the Millers’ home. Spell told the deputy he had been locked in the room for six months, fed “sporadically,” and rarely allowed to shower.