Brian and Shannon Gore, the Hayes couple charged with felony abuse and neglect and malicious aggravated wounding after their 6-year-old daughter was found starving and caged in squalid conditions inside their home in 2011, were sentenced to 30 years in prison in Gloucester Circuit Court Monday.
Judge R. Bruce Long sentenced each of the girl’s parents to 10 years imprisonment, the maximum allowed, on the felony abuse and neglect charge and 20 years for malicious aggravated wounding, which is punishable by up to life. Long said it was the worst case of abuse and neglect he had seen in his 15 years on the bench.
At the start of their scheduled jury trial in March, the couple entered not guilty pleas to both felony charges against them. They withdrew those pleas as the jury selection process was underway. Each then pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and neglect, and entered Alford pleas to the charge of aggravated malicious wounding. The Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but acknowledges the evidence is sufficient for a conviction.
Both parents addressed the court prior to sentencing on Monday. Sobbing and choking back tears, Shannon Gore said when she became pregnant she was 17 and scared Brian would get in trouble if anyone found out. She kept it a secret to everyone but him and gave birth to the child named Allison at home in 2004. She said Brian suggested adoption, but she could not fathom it after holding the newborn.