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Man who left kids home alone, one in a cage, gets probation

Published August 29. 2018 12:18PM

A North Manheim Township man who left his 22-month-old, 1-year-old and newborn home alone — the 22-month-old in a makeshift wooden cage — will serve a year on probation.

Schuylkill County Judge John E. Domalakes on Tuesday sentenced Cecil E. Kutz, 40, to 52 days to 12 months in jail on the first of three charges of recklessly endangering another person, with credit for the 52 days he’s already served.

Domalakes, saying Kutz had “acknowledged and recognized his lapse in judgment,” placed Kutz on immediate parole.

On the third count, he sentenced Kutz to 12 months on probation.

His defense lawyer, Daniel C. Nevins had asked for probation.

Assistant District Attorney A.J. Serina had asked Domalakes to sentence Kutz to 3 to 12 months in jail on each of the charges.

Nevins said none of the children suffered harm from the incident.

County Children & Youth Services Agency Mikki Zimmerman testified that although the agency’s goal for the children was reunification with their parents, Kutz has told her he wants to terminate his rights to them.

The children have been in foster care since the incident, and the foster parents would like to adopt them, Zimmerman said.

She did not address the mother’s status or plans.

Kutz on June 13 pleaded guilty to the charges. Three counts of endangering welfare of children were dropped in plea negotiations.

According to court testimony and an affidavit of probable cause filed by trooper Thomas J. Robin of the Schuylkill Haven barracks, Kutz on May 17, 2017, left the children alone in a hot, dirty house while he visited his girlfriend in the hospital where she was being treated for complications after giving birth at home.

The children’s mother, Tiffany S. George, 27, now of St. Clair, was charged on May 26, 2017, by state police at Schuylkill Haven with having a controlled substance she was not authorized to have.

She also pleaded guilty on June 13, and Domalakes sentenced her to time served to 12 months, with 38 days credit.

She was immediately placed on parole.

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