Jonesborough couple accused of putting autistic child in cage make first criminal court appearance

Mickey Sparks, age 69, and Patricia Laws, age 43. (Source: Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A Washington County, Tenn. couple accused of putting an autistic child in a cage in their home made their first appearance in criminal court Wednesday morning.

Mickey Sparks was the first to go before a judge.

Sparks was charged with child abuse and neglect after investigators said they found his daughter locked in a cage in his home on Miller Crossing Road in Jonesborough.

A judge set a plea deadline in his case for Aug. 22.

Patricia Laws, the child’s mother, also appeared in court on Wednesday.

Laws also faces child abuse and neglect charges.

Both Laws and Sparks waived the formal reading of the charges against them.

The judge set the same plea deadline date of Aug. 22 for her.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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