The court appearance comes after a concerned shopper at the Target store in Niles alerted police in August of last year, and an investigation followed.
Samuel Myers, 32, and Sara Myers, 35, both entered pleas before Judge Anthony D’Apolito in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a charge of endangering children, a third-degree felony; and two first-degree misdemeanor counts of endangering children.
Assistant Prosecutor Caitlyn Andrews said she is recommending a sentence of either prison or jail to be determined by Judge A’polito.
Defense attorneys will argue for a sentence of probation. Sentencing will be at a later date.
The couple is presently free on bond.
The two were indicted in October by a Mahoning County grand jury after a shopper at the store made a report to police in August 2022 because she was concerned about their child.
Reports said the child was covered in bruises and appeared to be starving.
Police in Austintown were contacted and they visited the couple’s home on North Raccoon Road.
According to reports, investigators found the home was in disarray, with urine and feces on the floor and a tent where, reports said, the children slept.
Locks and chains were also on a door in the closet which Samuel Myers told police had food, however, officers found no food, reports said.
There were two other children in the home. All three children were taken by the Mahoning County Children’s Services Board.
Ed Hartwig, attorney for Samuel Myers, told the judge his client has been having two-hour weekly supervised visits with the children and he expects to call a witness from CSB to update the court on the progress his client has been making.