While a Centralia couple pleaded guilty last month to child abuse charges in exchange for four-year prison sentences, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office will likely seek longer sentences after they fled more than 3,000 miles to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer told The Chronicle Tuesday that, from his office’s perspective, Anthony and Mary Foxworth violated the terms of their plea agreement by fleeing before their scheduled sentencings.
The Foxworths each pleaded guilty last month to one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment after being charged in 2016 in the alleged neglect of their son, 16 at the time police became involved in the case.
The boy was found in January 2016 weighing 54 pounds with multiple neglect-related illnesses. He and two other children are now in foster care.
Anthony Foxworth’s attorney Chris Baum said at his client’s guilty plea hearing in October that his client was taking advantage of a plea deal, knowing that if the case went to trial prosecutors would add aggravating factors to his charge, leading to a higher sentence.
Prosecutors planned to ask for sentences of 51 months for each.
However, they now both face bail jumping charges after fleeing the state the week of their sentencing hearing. They were arrested a few days later after detectives tracked them using bank card and cellphone information.
The new charge could lengthen the defendants’ standard sentencing ranges, set by state law, Meyer said.
The couple are in custody and will be extradited back to Washington, but the prosecutor’s office cannot reveal when they will be transported due to safety concerns, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said.