Brother of boy found ‘near-death,’ locked in basement, sues adoptive parents for $5M

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HELENA, Ala. (WIAT) — The brother of a boy found malnourished and locked in a basement in 2016 has sued their adoptive parents, his attorney confirms to CBS 42.

Eddie Carter, now 21, filed a lawsuit Friday, seeking $5 million in compensatory damages for his now 17-year-old brother against their adoptive parents, Richard and Cynthia Kelly. The couple pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse earlier this month.

Carter described his experience at the Kelly home to CBS 42 in December 2016:

The couple was arrested in November 2016 after their adopted son was admitted into a hospital in near-death condition, Helena Police say. According to the lawsuit, the 14-year-old boy weighed only 47 pounds when he was admitted. He “spent an average of 23 days in a concrete basement with little more than box-springs, a strip of fly paper and an Algebra textbook,” the lawsuit claims.

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The Kelly home in Helena (CBS 42)

The lawsuit says the boy was monitored by his adoptive parents through a video surveillance camera, fed once a day, and ate food other than what his family members ate. This lasted for two years and ended after he was brought to a hospital, according to the lawsuit.

Richard and Cynthia Kelly will be sentenced in February 2020.


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