WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Scripps News West Palm Beach) — Jury selection began Friday in the trial of a Jupiter man who’s accused of locking his adopted son in a box for hours at a time.
Timothy Ferriter, 48, and his wife, Tracy Ferriter, 47, are charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment and are now facing a new charge of child neglect.
The allegations came to light in February 2022 in an upscale suburb of West Palm Beach.
The Ferriters are accused of keeping their then-14-year-old adopted son in an 8×8 box in their garage.
Jupiter police said the box had a mattress, camera, and bucket that was used as a restroom. and the boy was only allowed out to go to school. The couple was eventually arrested when the teen ran away.
Jury selection in Timothy Ferriter’s case started Friday with Judge Howard Coates bringing in 100 potential jurors.
Coates said one still photographer and one television camera will be allowed in the courtroom and will be allowed to film jurors. Coates added that if there is enough pushback from 20 or more jurors regarding being filmed, he will hold a special hearing to decide how to proceed.
In a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Timothy Ferriter rejected a plea deal by the state that would have resulted in 24 months in prison and five years of probation. He now faces 40 years and possibly more.
Defense attorney Prya Murad contends the child was “a medically complex child” and the alleged box was “a room” used for monitoring.
The defense intends to show a pattern of troubled behavior, which at the onset of the case showed “dangerous and disturbing propensities,” including attachment disorders.
The Department of Children and Families removed the child and three other children from the home.
A trial date has not yet been set for Tracy Ferriter.
This story was originally published by Scripps News West Palm Beach, an E.W. Scripps Company.