The Boy in the Box case finally came to a climax today when a jury convicted Tim Ferriter on all counts for the false imprisonment and abuse of his stepson,
The jury took only two and a half hours to reach their verdicts for each of the enumerated offenses.
Tim Ferriter, 48, was charged after officials responded to a report of a missing child and Tim and Tracy Ferriter reluctantly allowed officials into their home and officers found the 8 by 8 makeshift room in the garage.
The testimony revealed the room as constructed with studs and plywood, having its own ceiling, bearing no windows, a padlock on the exterior of a makeshift door, and a matters and bucket (to urinate and defecate) were the only amenities for their 14-year-old son.
Tracy Ferriter, 48, is also charged in the case and awaiting trial.
But, as the trial was unfolding, we learned that Tim Ferriter was previously offered a plea deal that would have only required a 24-month period of incarceration.
We await the sentencing to see how much time Tim Ferriter will end up receiving.
It is commonly known—and taught in criminal justice college courses—that approximately 96% of cases are plea bargained in the criminal court system.
So why didn’t Tim Ferriter take the plea?
While there are laws that generally protect spouses from testifying against each other in court proceedings, those prohibitions generally exist in situations where one party is the defendant and the other is a witness in the case.
In many instances, given the time span that elapses between the crime and scheduled court date, the two parties resolve their differences (or the defendant manipulates their spouse) and the case never goes forward, the prosecution offering a nolle prosequi.
However, because certain stipulations in the proposed plea agreement required Tim Ferriter to provide information on his wife Tracey Ferriter, he declined the offer and rolled the dice on the possible 40 years in jail. Yet, in this case, both are defendants and cannot be compelled to testify under the Fifth Amendment. This was, perhaps, the only choice Tim Ferriter could choose.
While Tim Ferriter may have made the right decision as it relates to his relationship with his wife, facing 40 years may very well provide, taking the plea and getting some good time towards the sentence would have ensured reestablishing their relationship after serving their sentences.
But now we wait for the sentencing hearing of Tim Ferriter and the trial of Tracy Ferriter.