ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for allowing his 2-year-old twins to become severely malnourished.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Stephen Auker, of Anderson, pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of felony child neglect resulting in serious bodily injury.
Madison Circuit Court Judge David Happe sentenced him Monday.
Authorities say the twins weren’t able walk, talk, crawl, stand or eat solid foods when they were hospitalized. Two older children — ages 5 and 6 — also were found in poor health.
Auker’s attorney, Jimmy McDole, says his client “got overwhelmed” by mental health issues. Madison County deputy prosecutor Jennifer Haley says it’s “one of the most atrocious cases” she’s seen.
The children’s mother, Kimberly Robinson, faces charges. Her case is pending.