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Missouri parents who caged autistic son ordered imprisoned

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A suburban St. Louis couple was sentenced to seven years in prison for keeping their autistic son inside a makeshift cage.

Forty-five-year-old Terry Smith and his 44-year-old wife, Victoria, of O’Fallon, Missouri, were sentenced Friday to the prison terms despite a defense attorney’s request for probation.

The Smiths were convicted last month of child endangerment.

An anonymous call tipped authorities in December 2010, when the boy was 6.

When police, paramedics and a case worker responded, the boy’s grandmother was watching him and five siblings. Authorities say she led them to the basement, where the autistic child was in a 3-foot-by-6-foot crib covered with a plywood top and held together with bungee cords and zip ties.

Investigators said he was naked and sitting in feces and urine.

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