Pulaski County father in child-in-a-box case makes surprise plea

Sheriff Jeffrey Richwine, explaining where the plywood box was positioned in the Pulaski County home. (photo supplied / WNDU)

The father of a three-year-old girl found locked in a small plywood box threw a curveball at the judge this week.

27-year-old Christopher Short was expected to plead guilty to neglect of a dependent after an apparent deal with Pulaski County prosecutors. His deal would have lowered the severity of the felony charge from a Level 5 to a Level 6, reducing his maximum prison time from six years to 2.5 years.

Instead, Short pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial.

It’s another twist in court in this case, as the other woman charged with neglect of a dependent, Patricia Meeks, no-showed a plea hearing earlier this year.

Meeks will be sentenced in April, but Short’s trial date hasn’t been set.