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Forum News Service, Published January 29 2014

Larimore woman sentenced for child neglect

GRAND FORKS - A judge Tuesday gave a Larimore woman 18 months probation for child neglect after the woman’s 3-year-old boy was photographed by a neighbor hanging his behind out a second-story window to defecate.

State District Judge Debbie Kleven sentenced Whitney McPhillips, 20, to 18 months supervised probation after she pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony abuse or neglect of her two sons, now 4 and 1, for keeping them in an unsanitary, unsafe home.

Kleven deferred imposition of any other sentence on the count, which carries a top penalty of five years in prison.

Grand Forks County sheriff’s deputies said a neighbor called 911 in August after seeing the boy hanging out the window and she showed deputies the photo she took out of concern.

McPhillip’s mother gave deputies permission to enter the home. They reported that McPhillips’ two boys looked healthy, but also saw small piles of feces and garbage.

The children were removed from the home that day and McPhillips was arrested, spending a day in jail. She was charged in September.

McPhillips is taking counseling and parenting classes and hopes to be reunited with her sons.