Friday, the parents of an East Texas boy found dead in a septic tank last summer pleaded guilty to child endangerment. They will serve four years in jail.
The charges and jail time are not related to the on-going investigation into their son, Jake Kimbley's, death. More charges could be filed later in connection to the Jake's case.
Nine months after being arrested on child endangerment charges, David and Sabrina Kimbley entered a plea agreement and admitted their guilt.
Sabrina and her husband David, of Winona, were each charged with 13 counts of child endangerment.
The Kimbleys pleaded guilty to two different agreements. In the first agreement, which consisted of four charges, they were sentenced to two years for each charge, to run concurrently. In the second agreement, which involves only one charge, they were sentenced to another two years in a state jail facility. That term will run consecutively to the first agreement, leaving the Kimbleys with a total sentence of four years.
The couple will receive credit for the 9 months they've been in jail toward their four-year sentence total. The couple will not be eligible for parole.
Video from inside the Kimbley home where the children were living shows roaches crawling on food in the pantry, on the walls and in the oven.
"You look at these conditions they were living in and... they're children... you wish you could get more time, but that's the maximum the law provides for," says Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham.
Because the Kimbleys were charged with multiple counts of child endangerment, which is a state jail felony, the maximum jail time they could get under the law is two years. If all the charges were tried in court together, the two-year sentences would have run concurrently, meaning all at the same time. In the plea docket agreement, the district attorney's office split the charges up and asked those sentences to be served one after the other.
"We did get the maximum, plus the maximum and that's what we were trying to achieve, to protect the children, [to] make sure they would not go back with those families and that they would be prosecuted to the maximum," says Bingham.
The Kimbleys have not been charged with anything related to Jake's death. District attorney Matt Bingham says that case is a work in progress.
"We're going to make sure that we pursue it, that the case is active and when we feel like we have enough evidence to go forward, then we will," Bingham says.
Bingham says his office only has one shot at prosecuting Jake's case and he isn't going to file charges before they have the evidence to back them up. Some of that evidence could come from the only witnesses when Jake went missing, the children.
"You always hope that when the children get into another home, where they're out of this environment, they know that they're protected... that if the children do know something, that they'll come forward at some point," Bingham says.
The Kimbley's parental rights were terminated in a hearing with the Department of Family and Protective Services. One of the children is reportedly happy and living with his biological father. The other four children are in foster care awaiting a permanent home.