Mom gets 15 to 18 years for abuse
Pleaded guilty to child endangering after son endures 2 months of torture
WARREN — A Columbus man said his 5-year-old grandson kept singing their favorite Gospel song while he was enduring two months of torture at his mother’s Austin Avenue NW home.
LaShawn Kaigler, a veteran who now has custody of the boy in his capital-city home, delivered the victim impact statement in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Thursday as Canchata Allgood, 31, was given an indefinite prison sentence of 15 to 18 years after she pleaded guilty to eight counts of endangering children.
Allgood and another man were charged in the abuse of the boy while he was locked in a basement of the home on Warren’s northwest side. According to Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Diane Barber, the abuse took place over a two-month period in late 2020 where the boy was burned with a lighter, repeatedly struck with an extension cord and belt as well as punched in the stomach — which caused internal bleeding.
The torture also included denying the boy food, Barber said, and when he sneaked up to the kitchen at night for a snack, the boy was again beaten. Barber said the boy spent a week in Akron’s Children Hospital before being released to the custody of his paternal grandparents.
Kaigler, with tears streaming, said when he was reunited with his grandson after the nightmarish torture, the boy grabbed his face and asked: “Where were you?”
The grandfather said Allgood repeatedly had rebutted him when the woman complained about the boy “being too hard to handle.”
The grandfather said the boy told him he endured the torture by singing the Gospel song “Great Work” every day in the basement while “he was begging for us to come get him.”
Kaigler said since the boy has been in his custody, he has to deal with anger issues and overcoming a fear of being in the bathroom.
“He keeps telling me there’s a monster in the bathroom, and I don’t know what that is about,” he said.
Kaigler said the boy, whom he called “Cy,” was happy and playful for most of his life while he stayed with the paternal grandparents. It was when he went to his mother’s Warren home for a visit that things “got out of control.” Kaigler said he repeatedly offered to come get the boy, but the mother “blocked us.”
Kaigler asked common pleas Judge Ronald J. Rice to give Allgood the maximum sentence, which would have totaled more than 60 years.
“The years she’s about to get doesn’t compare to the lifelong condition (the boy) is about to go through,” Kaigler said.
Rice said facts of the case are the “most despicable that I have heard in years.” The judge said the “saving grace” is that the plea deal reached by defense attorney David Rouzzo and Barber has saved the boy from facing his mom to testify at trial.
Before sentencing, Allgood didn’t talk but only could cry. She couldn’t get out words when Rice asked her if she would like to apologize to her son.
Rouzzo said “there was a lot happening in the house” but declined to give any more details.
Rice said consecutive sentences were necessary because of the “grotesque behavior” Allgood displayed toward her own children. Barber said one of the counts against Allgood involved her grabbing her 9-year-old daughter around the neck while picking her up from the ground.
Allgood’s co-defendant, James Jethroe, 32, who is charged with the same child-endangering counts plus three counts of felonious assault, faces a May 5 pretrial hearing before Judge W. Wyatt McKay.