WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Court TV/Scripps News West Palm Beach) — A Florida father who locked his adopted son in a box-like structure in the family’s garage was back in court on Thursday for a hearing to determine whether he should be released from jail.
Ferriter’s attorneys asked that their client be released from jail while he awaits his November sentencing. On Friday night, Judge Howard Coates issued a ruling denying the motion.
Defense attorney Khurrum Wahid told Coates that his client would surrender his passport, agree to wear a monitoring device and would continue to reside in Palm Beach County.
Wahid also noted that Ferriter isn’t a flight risk and no longer has custody of any of his children.
“There is no doubt that Mr. Ferriter is going to appear for his sentencing hearing,” Wahid told Coates.
However, Assistant State Attorney Brianna Coakley said Ferriter could face up to 40 years in prison, “which is a substantially significant posture” than when he was on pre-trial release.
“That creates a substantial risk of a flight risk, your honor, that was not present before,” Coakley said.
Coakley called a pre-sentence release “incredibly rare.”
“I tend to agree with you,” Coates said.
Coakley pointed out that Ferriter’s friend traveled from Australia to testify for the defense during the trial. She also said Ferriter lived in Spain “for a period of time” and has since sold the Jupiter home where he lived at the time of his arrest.
“We have no indication that he owns any local property in Palm Beach County,” Coakley said. “The defense has not provided the address of where he will be living.”
Coakley also refuted the defense’s claim that Ferriter no longer has contact with any of the children.
“That is just not true,” she said. “The youngest child in this case was adopted by his co-defendant’s parents and he’s had continuing contact with that child, even since he’s been in custody.”
Ferriter’s sentencing is set for Nov. 16.
His wife, Tracy Ferriter, is facing the same charges and still awaiting trial.
Coates didn’t rule from the bench and said he would issue a written order.
“I will move promptly to get an order out as quickly as possible,” Coates said.
Coates released a written order denying Ferriter’s motion for bond on Friday evening.
This story was originally reported by Scripps News West Palm Beach, an E.W. Scripps Company.