LIBERTY TWP., Ohio -- A mother accused of abandoning her 9-year-old adopted son pleaded guilty to attempted abandonment Monday.
Lisa Cox entered her plea in a Butler County court just days after she and her husband, Cleveland Cox said they planned to fight all charges stemming from them leaving the boy with Butler County Children’s Services.
The couple gave the boy to the public agency with a note stating they did not know how to handle him after he grabbed a knife and threatened to kill them.
The Cox’s adopted the boy when he was four months old.
A grand jury indicted the parents on one count of nonsupport of dependents after authorities said the two “recklessly” abandoned the child on Oct. 24.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael T. Gmoser said he was satisfied with Lisa Cox's plea of guilty to attempted abandonment, a lesser charge. Since being charged the Coxes have sought counseling to help the boy.
“As a result of the Grand Jury indictment, I am heartened by the parents’ expression that this process was a blessing to give them focus on their responsibility and acceptance of it,” Gmoser said.
As part of the agreement with prosecutors, charges against Cleveland Cox were dropped, so as to not jeopardize his employment and the livelihood of his family.
“This case was never intended to do more harm than good and jeopardizing his employment would not have been in the best interest of justice or society,” Gmoser said.
The Cox’s attorney, Anthony VanNoy, said his clients' case has helped shed light on issues that many adoptive families face.
"There's a lot of families we've gotten such a great outpouring from -- families across the country that have adopted children and have experienced some of these issues because some children have issues that arose when they're just born -- family histories that the family wasn't aware of," VanNoy said.