Child chainers claim they want to reunite family

Published 10:22 am Thursday, December 8, 2011

AUSTIN — The Dexter parents who are in jail for chaining their now 6-year-old son to his crib denied allegations Wednesday that they haven’t followed through in a plan to reunify their family.

Brian Miller

Although a date has yet to be scheduled, Charity Miller, 27, and Brian Miller, 34, will be on trial within 60 days so a judge can determine whether the two will remain parents.

The Millers are serving a yearlong jail sentence on convictions of false imprisonment and malicious punishment. According to court documents, they chained one of their sons to his crib from bedtime until morning every night.

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The Millers are facing a second attempt from Mower County Human Services to terminate their parental rights. District Judge Fred Wellmann ruled in June the Millers had caused egregious harm to their children but could retain their parental rights if they completed a case plan to reunify their family pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act, as Charity and one of the two sons are members of the Cherokee Tribe.

According to a parental rights termination petition filed Nov. 29, the Millers have not fulfilled their family reunification case plan obligations, including presenting a child safety plan, which was due in June. They also have reportedly failed to complete the appropriate required psychological evaluations, the petition states.

Charity Miller

Attorney Dan Donnelly, representing Charity, and Attorney Tom Lenway, representing Brian, said in court Wednesday they expect the termination trial to last two days. In the meantime, the Millers are to continue working on their case plan for reunification.

The Millers’ sons are in a foster home in the protective custody of Mower County Human Services.