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Convicted child abusers sentenced to prison

A Gold Hill woman found guilty of severely abusing her 11-year-old stepson was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years in prison, while the father was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the abuse.

Angela Marie Millard, 35, of Gold Hill was found guilty of three counts of second-degree assault and two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment after breaking out the boy's teeth with a hairbrush, burning his hands, withholding food and medical care and tying him up with a rope and leaving him for long periods of time.

Lawrence James Millard, 38, of the same address was found guilty of second-degree assault and two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment for beating the boy with a table leg, withholding food and medical care and leaving him alone while tied up.

"This is one of the most egregious cases of child abuse in which the child is not dead," Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Virginia Greer said Tuesday during a sentencing hearing.

She said the boy will have lasting physical effects from his injuries, including reduced mobility in his hands.

"I believe the psychological effects will extend the rest of his life," Greer said.

The abuse began around Thanksgiving 2014. Fearing the abuse would be detected, the Millards did not let him return to school after the Thanksgiving break.

The boy did not receive medical attention until late January, when a relative took him to see a nurse-practitioner, who called 911 when she saw his injuries, which included infected, severely burned hands.

Angela Millard's mother, Elizabeth Cervera, said Tuesday the family had been under extreme stress, with Angela Millard undergoing cancer treatment and Larry Millard finishing college.

Angela Millard had been treated for cervical cancer, but the cancer returned when she was pregnant with a baby girl who has since been born. The boy, his toddler sister and the baby are being cared for together by a therapeutic foster mother, according to court testimony.

The family was living in a one-bedroom apartment in Gold Hill.

"They moved to this community with so much hope," Cervera said. "They were a family typical of most families."

She said the stress became too much for Angela and Larry Millard and they fell apart.

Before being sentenced by Jackson County Circuit Judge David Hoppe, Angela Millard said the family had happy moments, with trips to the zoo and the beach.

"Your honor, what I did was horrible and I can't take it back," she said. "I can't take it back. I will never forget this. All I can say is I'm sorry and I wish my son were here so I could ask for his forgiveness."

In arguing for leniency, the Millards' defense attorneys said the couple had no previous criminal history.

Defense attorney Michael Kellington said Lawrence Millard is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army.

"We recognize this is a very sad case. This is a very horrible case," Kellington said.

During a search of the Millards' apartment after the nurse-practitioner saw the boy and called 911, detectives found a broken off tooth that a dentist was able to reattach to a root still in the boy's mouth. They also found a blue rope that had been used to bind the boy.

The child is going to therapy and receiving treatment for his burned hands, according to court testimony.

During the trial, the boy said Angela Millard had held his hands under hot running water as a punishment because he argued with her about not wanting to be tied up.

A medical expert testified children have thinner skin than adults and can be burned more easily by water. Comfortable hand-washing temperature for children is 101 degrees. Adults think water is painful on their hands beginning at 113 degrees.

Detectives measured the water at two sinks in the apartment at 136 degrees and 145 degrees.

Medical experts testified the boy was underweight, with his bones protruding and his abdomen distended. The boy said Larry Millard beat him with the wooden table leg because he had partially slipped out of the blue rope to sneak food.

"He was beyond skinny," Greer said Tuesday. "He was starving."

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

Lawrence James Millard
Angela Marie Millard