Visitation denied for parents who chained son

Published 3:09 pm Friday, May 27, 2011

The Dexter parents who chained one of their sons to his crib have been denied visitation rights.

Brian Dale Miller, 33, and Charity Lynn Miller, 26, requested visitation with the younger of their two sons Friday at a pre-trial hearing about the potential termination of their parental rights.

Brian Miller

Assistant Mower County Attorney Aaron Jones said visitation would only harm the boys further.

Email newsletter signup

“These are two boys who are very frightened of their parents,” Jones said in court.

The Millers are charged with depriving their sons of food and bathroom access; they also chained the 5-year-old to his bed from dinnertime until morning every day, according to a court complaint.

Todd Schoonover, court appointed legal guardian, said the 8-year-old boy does not want contact with his parents. Schoonover recommended contact with the younger son only if it’s in a “therapeutic setting.”

Charity Miller

Judge Fred Wellmann ruled in favor of Schoonover’s recommendation, saying the Millers are to have no contact with their older son and no contact with the 5-year-old unless he is deemed ready and it’s in a therapeutic setting.

The children have been in a foster home since their parents were arrested. The Millers’ fate will be determined in the coming weeks once the couple’s parental rights are determined. Jones said Charity’s mother, who lives out of state, has expressed interest in taking care of the children if the Millers lose their parental rights.

Tina Youngbear, a representative of the Cherokee Nation, spoke via conference call because Charity and one of the children are enrolled in the nation. Youngbear said the nation is on a “diligent search” for a family placement for the boys. She said the nation is in favor of considering Charity’s mother.

The Millers will appear in court for their parental rights trial on June 14. The trial is expected to last at least two days.