Struthers man sentenced after children found in feces-filled hom - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Struthers man sentenced after children found in feces-filled home

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Bambi Shiley and Ronald Higham Bambi Shiley and Ronald Higham
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A man who police say allowed three children to live in a feces-filled home was sentenced on Wednesday in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Ronald Higham was sentenced to 18 months in jail for one count of child endangering, a third degree felony.

Higham was originally charged with three counts of child endangering, but pleaded guilty to one count in April. The other two charges were dropped.

He was also sentenced to an additional 18 months for failing to register as a sex offender in a separate case from 2007.  He will serve the charges consecutively.

Bambi Shiley, who also lived in the home, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 12.

According to a Struthers police report, officers arriving at the home of Higham and Shiley on May 26, 2015, found a child with diarrhea running down his leg and said they could smell fecal matter from outside the home's front door.

Police reports from May 2015 say officers visited the Fifth Street home because Struthers Middle School teachers approached them with concerns about the children living there.

When police asked to enter the home, they say Shiley did not want to let them in and became defensive before opening the door. She told police that she had not had time to clean.

Police say they met with the three children. One child was wearing just a diaper, which was full of feces and with diarrhea — fresh and dried — running down his leg, according to police. Reports say the child's fingernails were black and his feet were covered with dirt and what appeared to be sores.

The upstairs of the home was “caked with fecal matter,” and dirty diapers were covering the floor “almost to the point where you could not see the ground,” according to reports.

Police say the walls and bathtub were also covered with feces.

An uncle has custody of the 14-year-old child who is said to be doing better.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum told Higham before sending him to prison: "To me it's inexcuseable.  I don't know if there's anything worse."

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