Georgia - Paul and Sheila Comer, the couple who imprisoned and starved Sheila’s son for three years before sticking him on a bus to California when he turned 18-years-old, were both sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The couple were arrested in September 2012 after being accused of locking Sheila’s teen son, Mitch, inside a bathroom and then a bedroom for three friggin’ years. He’d been isolated in the house for so long that his two younger sisters who lived there had forgotten what he looked like. They couldn’t even recall the color of Mitch’s hair.
When he turned 18,Paul Comer took him to a bus station with a ticket to California and a map of local homeless shelters. Afterwards, the couple threw away everything in the home that had anything to do with Mitch, including his baby shoes and pictures.
Mitch was found wandering a Los Angeles bus station by a former security guard who called police. Mitch was emaciated, stood 5-feet-1 and weighed only 89-pounds. He looked like a 12-year-old, according to police, and had translucent skin from not having been exposed to sunlight for years.
While Mitch informed the officers of the abuse he had suffered at the hands of his mother and stepfather, they gave him some crackers to eat. “It was pitiful,” said Dana Norman, assistant DA in Paulding. “He ate the crackers like they were the only thing he had left in the world.”
The following day, Sheila Comer and Paul Comer were arrested on on child cruelty charges and have been in jail ever since. In November of last year, a grand jury indicted the couple on 10 charges, including seven counts of cruelty to children. On Thursday the couple reached a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to cruelty charges.
It took a couple of weeks of negotiations between both sides to come to a conclusion everyone was happy with, but by pleading guilty, the couple will not face a possible 100 years behind bars. Also, their children will not have to endure a two week trial and the couple’s assets will be split between their children – including Mitch.
Speaking of Mitch, he refused to attend his parents’ sentencing as he chose to go to school that day instead. His whereabouts are not being released, but reports are he is back in Georgia and attends school. “He’s doing well, he’s thriving,” Paulding County District Attorney Dick Donovan said.
The Comer’s two young daughters have remained in protective custody, but are expected to go live with an uncle. The Comers have yet to explain why they did what they did aside from claiming they were trying to discipline an unruly child and that it was Mitch’s idea to go to California so he could be an actor.