Sheriff Pate says Joseph bristled when he said he was going to interview Clayton. "He said, 'The social workers have already been here. They've already spoken to him,'" Sheriff Pate says. "I basically told him I didn't care if they had been there. I did not talk to his son, and I was conducting an investigation also. And that's when I took Clayton to the police station, and [he] sat in my lap and we ate peanut butter and crackers. And [he] ate a lot of peanut butter and crackers."

Once away from his parents, Sheriff Pate says Clayton wasn't forthcoming initially. "He loved his father even though he was being treated the way that he was," he says. "And probably felt somewhat responsible for being treated the way that he was. Kids blame themselves."
Sheriff Pate tried a new approach. "I said, 'Your father wants you to tell me exactly what has happened.' And he said, 'He does?' I'll never forget that," Sheriff Pate says. "That wasn't necessarily the truth. But it worked."

Listen to Deputy Pate's heartbreaking interview with Clayton

Carmen and Joseph pled guilty to neglect, criminal confinement and battery, but each blamed the other for initiating the crime. An Indiana judge gave them the maximum sentence under the law—four and a half years—but said he knew both deserved more.

Carmen served only two years and three months. Joseph was released from prison after 21 months.


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