Father of boy who sold teddy bear for food sentenced 6 months

WLWT Staff

FRANKLIN, Ohio (WLWT) — The father of a boy who sold his teddy bear for food was sentenced Tuesday to six months in jail on child endangering charges.

Michael Bethel was sentenced to 180 days in jail. He will be on probation for three years.

Franklin police said they received a call Aug. 7 that a young boy was wandering in downtown Franklin alone. When an officer arrived, police said the 7-year-old was peddling his toy in front of a drugstore to get money for food.

Officer Steve Dunham took the child to a nearby Subway to get something to eat, then took him back to the Franklin Police Department.

Inside the family’s home, officials said they said they found other children living in squalor. Officers reported rotting food, cockroaches, strewn clothing and a nauseating smell throughout the home.

The boy’s mother, Tammi Bethel, was previously sentenced to one year in jail.

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