Wyoming couple kept 7-year-old in outdoor metal cage for three weeks

Couple began caging the 7-year-old outdoors because the child was "constantly doing bad things."

By Matt Bradwell

LARAMIE, Wyo., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A Wyoming couple will appear in Circuit Court Thursday on charges they kept a 7-year-old child in an outdoor cage for nearly a month.

According to prosecutors, the child's mother Jena Harman and her boyfriend Alexander Smith kept the 7-year-old in a 30-square-foot outdoor cage with clothing, books, toiletries and a bucket to use as a bathroom. Harman allegedly only fed the child once a day, if she remembered to at all.


The child described to authorities getting kicked out of his mother's Laramie home, sprayed with a hose and forced into the cage even during rainstorms. Smith said that although he disliked the child, he thought the cage was a safe way control him during visits, even noting that he thought the child seemed to like the confinement.

Harman told investigators she took the drastic strep as disciplinary measure because the child was "constantly doing bad things."

Harman and Smith are charged with one count each of child abuse and three counts of felonious restraint. If convicted, the couple faces up to 20 years in prison.

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