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Not Guilty Plea for Mom Accused of Locking Autistic Son in Basement

Teri Allen plead not guilty to charges that she abused her autistic, adult son by locking him in the basement of her home.

Teri Allen waits Thursday in court for her preliminary hearing to begin on charges that she abused her autistic adult son.
Teri Allen waits Thursday in court for her preliminary hearing to begin on charges that she abused her autistic adult son.
The Racine woman who is accused of keeping her adult son locked in the basement while wearing a dog shock collar entered a not guilty plea Thursday.

Teri Allen appeared in court with attorney John Anthony Ward for her preliminary hearing on a single felony count of intentionally causing an individual at risk to abuse – likely to cause bodily harm. If convicted, she faces up to 18 months in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines.


Her 23-year-old son is believed to have Asperger's Syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Allen is accused of keeping him locked in the basement of her home for the last year or so.

Allen has said she kept her son in the basement not only for his own safety but also for the safety of other children who live in the home and kids in the neighborhood, according to our media partners at WISN 12 News. 

The man has been removed from the home and is living with his paternal grandmother. She is the one who alerted police that her grandson might be suffering from abuse and requested a welfare check.

During the hearing Thursday, Racine police Investigator Chris Blackmore first answered questions from Assistant District Attorney Robert Repischak about what he found when he visited the Allen home in the 1700 block of Holmes Avenue.

Blackmore confirmed that Allen's son was locked in the unfinished basement of the home wearing a dog shock collar and without proper facilities.

"There wasn't a toilet. He used a bucket, like a five-gallon, with a seat on it," the investigator told the court. "He slept on a twin mattress that didn't have any sheets. There was a thin blanket, like one you use when you're moving."

According to Blackmore's testimony, the makeshift toilet and sleeping quarters were the idea of Sarkis "Sam" Asdigian, 43, who lives in the same home and is also facing charges in this case. He was released from custody on a $5,000 signature bond, according to a story from The Journal Times.

Repischak also got Blackmore on the record describing how Allen would feed her son through a hole in the wall and that there was no escape from the basement in case of an emergency. There also was not a doorknob on the basement side of the door, leaving the son trapped there when the door was locked.

The son could come upstairs to wash his face, shower and brush his teeth if he would knock on the door, Blackmore said. But, the man was also left in the basement for up to two days at a time when the family was home and for several hours when no one was home.

Ward asked Blackmore if he was aware that Allen had tried to get her son committed to a hospital and that on previous visits to the home, police officers advised Allen to put her son in the basement as a punishment for misbehaving.

The investigator said he didn't know about efforts to find a facility for the son but that he did know about officers' advice to Allen. 

Blackmore's testimony under cross-examination also included details from his interview with Allen, during which she admitted to keeping her son in the basement for his own good and the safety of children in the neighborhood.

In the end, Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch bound Allen over trial, and Allen entered a not guilty plea. Allen was released from custody July 10 after posting a $500 cash bond. She will next be in court Oct. 4 for a pre-trial conference.
Jerry Person August 25, 2013 at 08:11 AM
Scott Walker remembers creating jobs as assemblyman in Wisconsin . It was easy with ALEC. 32000 UNION public sector jobs. It is not as easy this time with out using your tax dollars. Scott Walker has created ALL Wisconsin`s budget problems working for ALEC. In 1997 Walker and Prosser as state assemblymen championed for ALEC with truth in sentencing telling the legislatures it would not cost a dime it was to give judges not parole boards the control over sentencing. Then Walker filibustered to stop sentencing changes after the fact misleading ALL the legislatures. With out the sentencing changes Wisconsin`s prisons quadrupled over night. Most people sentenced to 2 years now had to serve as much as 6o years. As the Wisconsin Budget watch Blog shows . Stopping just a percentage of these long sentences Wisconsin would save 707 million per year. Wisconsin could have free tuition colleges. It shows Wisconsin has wasted 200 billion if you add the numbers to the state budget since 1997. Not including the building new or remodeling of 71 courthouses & 71 county jails & 273 police stations and dozens of prisons 28 billion plus interest. The total is over 70 BILLION plus the 100 Billion spent by social services to support prisoners families because the bread winner was a political prisoner as US Att gen Eric Holder explained. Then farming out prisoners in several states until the courts realized it was not allowed in the Wisconsin constitution. Wisconsin then hired 32000 union public sector workers to fill the jobs housing the prisoners from deputies , judges, district attorneys all owe Walker for creating there jobs. 32000 UNION PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS. This cost taxpayers over 3.8 billion or a half million per day to house these EXTRA prisoners per day in Milwaukee county alone. Wisconsin claims it has 24,000 prisoners compared to Minnesota`s 5500. Wisconsin`s corrections population is 104,000 with over 28,000 prisons in Milwaukee county alone . In 1995 Milwakee county had less than 1000 prisoners . Is Scott Walker moving Wisconsin forward ? This your reason for budget problems in Wisconsin. Big spender big government Scott Walker. Why does he not work for the people he is taking his check from the people ? Wisconsin Budget watch blog has a great article on this.

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