Mar 13, 3:34 PM EST
Man Ordered to Doghouse for Whipping Son
By MARK BABINECK
Associated Press Writer
ORANGE, Texas (AP) -- A man accused of mistreating his 11-year-old stepson was ordered Thursday to spend 30 nights in a doghouse.
Prosecutors said Curtis Lee Robin whipped Zachary Weiger with a car antenna, made him sleep in a doghouse and chop wood as punishment.
The boy later recanted the doghouse allegation, and Robin denied making him sleep outdoors. But Robin did not dispute the other claims.
He accepted a plea bargain that gave him a choice of 30 days in jail or 30 nights in a doghouse. He chose the doghouse so that he could continue to work as a foreman at a demolition company.
Robin was to spend his first night in the 2-by-3-foot state-supplied doghouse in his front yard on Thursday. Rain was forecast.
His lawyers argued he needed a bigger doghouse, a sleeping bag and mosquito netting. Judge Buddie Hahn said the state would provide a doghouse about the same size as the one the boy once claimed to have slept in.
Robin is allowed to sleep with either his head or feet outside, since he cannot fit all the way into the doghouse. A police officer will patrol his home periodically each night to ensure he serves his sentence.
The deal also called for Robin to serve eight years' probation and pay a $1,000 fine.
Investigators said when they first interviewed the 11-year-old in 2001, he was filthy and had mosquito bites all over his body.
Pat Anzaldi, the boy's maternal grandfather, said Robin deserved the punishment. "I know Mr. Robin is very concerned with mosquito netting and weather, but my grandson was not presented with the same treatment," he said.
The boy, now 12, lives with his father in Florida.