Terrence Britt Pleads Guilty To Reduced Charge In Son's
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 6, 2003
ST. GEORGE, SOUTH CAROLINA--Terrence Britt, who had been accused of murdering his 6-year-old son, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to a reduced charge of unlawful conduct toward a child. He was then sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended after serving four years with an additional five years of probation.
Circuit Judge James Williams also declared a mistrial for the boy's mother, Renee Britt, and said she would be retried at a later date.
On the morning of March 3, 2001, the Britts reported that their son, Gabriel, who had autism, apparently wandered away from the home in the middle of the night and had not returned
Over the next few days about 1,000 searchers combed the area looking for the boy in one of the largest child search efforts in South Carolina history.
Gabriel's body was found nine days later in a pond near his home that divers had searched on two separate occasions.
Sheriff's investigators called Gabriel's death a homicide, in part because autopsy results showed he had experienced a severe blow to the stomach and kidneys. Authorities believed that he had been struck in the abdomen, then perhaps stumbled into the pond where he drowned. Later forensic tests determined that he did not drown, but that he was suffocated to death and his body was later dumped into the pond.
As he passed sentence Wednesday, Williams told Terrence Britt that he had placed Gabriel in unreasonable risk of harm.
"You allowed the child out of the house when that child was not able and should not have been allowed out without supervision," William said.
Williams later told the jury that much of the evidence against the Britts was inconclusive.