The mother of an 8-year-old boy and a second woman have been found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child after authorities said they kept the boy locked day and night in a room reeking of urine with no bed, furniture, lights or toys and no access to the bathroom.
Donna Jung, 57, and Helecia Morris, 41, were convicted on Friday after a week-long trial, prosecutors said.
The case stems from allegations between April 1, 2015, and Jan. 9, 2016, — 40 weeks and three days at a home in Brick Township, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore, authorities said.
The boy had been locked in his room day and night by Morris and Jung, prosecutors said.
“He was not allowed to use the bathroom in the residence and was excluded from socializing with the rest of the family,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer’s office said in a news release. “The room contained no bed, no furniture, no lights and no toys.”
The case came to light on Jan. 9, 2016, when officers from the Brick Township Police Department and representatives from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency responded to a residence on Queen Ann Road about a wellness check on Morris’ biological 8-year-old son, officials said.
“Responding Officers found the child locked in his room in abhorrent conditions,” officials said in a news release. “The room also reeked of urine.”
Officials removed the boy and two other minors from the home. They were taken to a hospital to be evaluated before all three children were placed in foster care.
Morris and Jung were arrested on Jan. 11, 2016.
They are both scheduled to be sentenced on July 7 and each faces up to 10 years in state prison. After the jury delivered the guilty verdict, Morris and Jung were remanded into custody. They will remain in the Ocean County Jail until their sentencing hearing.
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