North Carolina Couple Charged With Chaining 11-Year-Old Boy With Dead Chicken Around His Neck

imagesThere is a bizarre case in North Carolina where Dorian Harper, 58, and Wanda Larson, 58, were arrested after police found an 11-year-old boy chained to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck as punishment for killing a chicken on the farm. What is interesting is that the couple turned down a plea agreement to felony child abuse, false imprisonment and maiming. It is not clear where the maiming charge comes from in the case, but a trial will expose both to years in jail.

The boy was found in November 2013 and Larson was the boy’s guardian as well as a supervisor for the Department of Social Services in North Carolina’s Union County. Larson and the boy reportedly may testify against Harper, who lost his job as an emergency room nurse at Carolinas Medical Center-Union. Larson was also fired from her job as protective services supervisor at the Division of Social Services.

I am unclear on the possible defenses in the case. If Larson is going to testify against Harper, she may be arguing that this was his doing. However, what would his defense be? Chaining a boy with a dead animal would hardly fall within the view of acceptable disciplinary action even at the extremes.

16 thoughts on “North Carolina Couple Charged With Chaining 11-Year-Old Boy With Dead Chicken Around His Neck

  1. They are hard cases thinking they have every right to raise their kid the way they want and the Government should stay out of it no doubt

  2. Not acceptable, even at extremes? Where are you from. A kid kills a good farm chicken around here and he gets the dead thing tied around his neck for a few hours to teach him a lesson. The Chicken that is. I live in North Carolina and these people just need a country jury to hear this case and walk them in a New York minute. Of course New York minute don’t apply around here.

  3. Paul

    They may have just averted someone from graduating to bigger stuff. However, it appears they may have set the ball rolling in the first place. There’s a little distance between their way and the ways of a child.

  4. I have heard of farmers doing this to dogs that kill chickens in an effort to make them avoid chickens. It never made any sense to me, because wouldn’t the dog just eat the dead chicken? It’s like putting a necklace of chocolate around my neck thinking it will use sensory flooding to make me avoid chocolate, when all it will accomplish is giving me a stomach ache from over eating the chocolate necklace.

    But that is probably the source for this bizarre abuse. Poor child. Plus they exposed him to salmonella, among all the other obviously harmful aspects of their behavior.

    Yes, they should have punished him for killing the bird if it was deliberate. If he killed it on purpose, or tortured it, that could be a serious red flag for behavioral problems. But abuse is a poor teacher.

    What was their relationship with the boy? The woman was his guardian, but does that mean they were foster parents?

  5. As a behavior psychology technique I think it might have merits. Killing animals is one of the first steps to serial killing and they may have just stopped a serial killer. The defense is going to be interesting. It will also be interesting if the charge the child with animal abuse.

  6. I’ve never heard of doing this to a child, but this is an old practice to try to cure chicken killing dogs. The idea is that the decomposing chicken will discourage the dog from ever going near the live ones again and thus prevent a farmer from having to destroy an otherwise good dog. Hard to imagine anyone trying this on a child though. Scarier yet that these people were in rolls giving them so much influence over the lives of many children.

  7. She is a supervisor at the Dept of Social Services!

    If she thinks that THIS is acceptable, I wonder what other things she is just overlooking regarding the mistreatment of children in the execution of her job duties: assuming she has anything to do with children that is.

    If she is this callous about other people, I can’t imagine being one of her caseworkers much less on of the people needing help from the Dept of Social Services.

  8. This sounds like a scene from True Detectives.

    “I’m busy. I have very important work to do. My ascension removes me from the disk and the loop. I am near final stage. Some mornings, I can see the infernal plane”

  9. The Rime of the Preteen Farmer

    “‘God save thee, Preteen Farmer!
    From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
    Why look’st thou so?’—With my cross-bow
    I shot the Fowl down.

    Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
    Had I from old and young!
    Instead of the cross, the Chicken Dross
    About my neck was hung.

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