A Hooks, Texas, couple has been charged with child endangerment for allegedly locking a 7-year-old boy out of the house with instructions to never return.
Ronald “Keith” Wright, 55, and Rendy Jo Wright, 39, allegedly told deputies with the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office that a preacher told them the child is possessed by demons. Deputies spoke to the couple Aug. 26 at their home on County Road 2111, according to a probable cause affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the boy spent most of the day Aug. 26 playing at a friend’s house across the road and about a half mile away. The boy’s friend’s father told deputies he told the boy it was time to go home around dinner time. The Wrights’ neighbor told deputies the boy left but came back about 10 minutes later stating that his mother had locked him out of the house.
The neighbor, thinking the Wrights were possibly not at home, drove the child back to the Wright’s home. When the neighbor observed Keith Wright mowing the yard, he let the boy out of his truck and left. The neighbor told deputies that the boy came back to his home about 10 minutes later. The boy was in tears and allegedly told the neighbor that Keith Wright had told him “to go away and never return home again, ever.”
The neighbor told deputies he felt he had no choice but to call law enforcement. After meeting with the neighbor, deputies went to the Wright’s home where they found Keith Wright mowing his yard. Keith Wright allegedly told the deputies that he and his wife had kicked the boy out of the house and that the child no longer lived there. When asked why the Wrights would put a 7-year-old on the street, Keith Wright allegedly stated that deputies “did not understand how bad the child’s behavior was.”
Rendy Wright allegedly told deputies she and her husband kicked the boy out because “he would not mind and only does what he wants,” the affidavit states.
Keith and Rendy Wright allegedly told deputies they had talked with a preacher about the boy and were told he is possessed by demons. Deputies began to suspect the couple had been using methamphetamine. Keith Wright allegedly “would not stand still, kept moving around quickly, had a short attention span, was sweating profusely and constantly moving his hands,” the affidavit states.
While the couple denied using meth the day they were interviewed by deputies, both did admit to prior use they allegedly described as “more of a hobby.”
The affidavit alleges the boy was abandoned and forced to seek help from another adult on his own across a well-traveled road and that the Wrights made no attempt to assist the child or see to his safety.
Keith Wright and Rendy Wright were arrested last week on a charge of abandoning or endangering a child. Both are free on $35,000 bonds. If found guilty, each faces two to 10 years in prison.