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Woman gets jail time, probation for putting cardboard boxes over children’s heads

Jan 4, 2023, 12:10 PM
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)...
FILE PHOTO (Deseret News)
(Deseret News)

TOOELE, Utah — A mother will be spending a few months in jail after pleading guilty to harming minor children while attempting to discipline them by placing cardboard boxes over their heads.

Lori Carling, 37, was sentenced on Tuesday to 60 days in jail and 36 months of probation for two counts of child abuse, a third-degree felony.

Her attorney, Scott Wilding, emphasized that Carling did not have any prior criminal history, and has been making efforts to learn about parenting and following instructions from the Department of Child and Family Services. He said when he first met his client it was clear she needed some help developing parenting skills.

“She’s doing the right kind of things, but she definitely needs to enhance her skills and acquire skills,” Wilding said.

Carling expressed sorrow for her actions and said she is working to get her children back into her home.

“I am deeply sorry that any of this has happened. … I am working with every opportunity that I’m given to make myself better and become the best parent I can be,” she said.

Charging documents say Carling admitted to leaving the boxes on the children’s heads for two hours at a time. One child told officers, according to a booking affidavit, that if they moved, their leg would be tied to their hand; the child said they had also been left outside as a form of discipline.

Third District Judge Teresa Welch said it is important for Carling to learn how to properly parent and recognize that her actions were abusive. The judge said if there is any indication of the same sort of abusive behavior during her probation, she would order Carling to serve two consecutive prison terms of up to five years.

“This type of behavior cannot happen again in the future,” Welch said.

Neither attorney asked for more jail time for Carling than the 19 days she served when she was first arrested, but the judge said she found additional jail time was warranted based on the egregious nature of the charges Carling admitted to.

Carling’s husband, Chad Allen Anderson, also pleaded guilty to two charges of child abuse, a third-degree felony, admitting to knowing about the abuse and allowing it to continue.

Anderson was also sentenced on Tuesday to 36 months of probation, but he was not given any jail time. He said at the time the couple was charged he had only known Carling for a few months and he was not around during most of the years the abuse is alleged to have occurred.

Welch gave the same warning to Anderson regarding a suspended prison sentence for each charge and said there would not be any tolerance for parental abuse.

“What occurred here is not proper parenting discipline; what occurred here is egregious abuse,” Welch said to Anderson.

If they successfully complete probation and all educational courses recommended by the judge, both Carling and Anderson can have their felony charges reduced to class B misdemeanors.

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Woman gets jail time, probation for putting cardboard boxes over children’s heads