Sentencing came Wednesday afternoon in a disturbing case of child abuse. The Omaha parents gave their 12-year-old daughter hallucinogenic mushrooms. Christopher and Cynthia Ewerdt each received five years probation.
The girl was found last August 9th wandering in a creek bed about a mile from her home. It was 3 a.m., she was muddy, crying and hallucinating. Authorities said it was not the first time her parents gave her mushrooms.
Leaving the courtroom, Christopher did not have anything to say. Wife Cynthia left moments before, but she too remained silent.
Before passing down the sentence, Judge Duane Dougherty ran through a number of the couple's problems, including drug addiction. He also took into consideration the Ewerdts six months of incarceration and during that time getting the help they need through the jail's various programs. The judge accepted a recommendation of the pre-sentence investigation.
The probation includes spending the first six months at a halfway house and the last six months in jail if they don't follow the conditions of probation. The judge said the thing about the sentence that comforted him the most was that the girl would be looked after by the juvenile court system, possibly until the age of 19.
The daughter is now 13 years old and is being cared for by a foster family. With adherence to the terms of probation, the Ewerdts can regain custody of their daughter.