I have a problem with this story on many levels. But the one that really gets me is that this family has adopted all of these speical needs children through Florida Family and Children Services. They get a payment from the governement every month for each of these children. The ante is higher because they are special needs. They have been adopting these children since 1975. The woman Ann Hutton stated, “This is what we do, and we do it well.We enjoy it. We don’t do anything else.”
They make a living off the backs of these children who can not defend themselves. CPS has been called out to the house several times for neglect however, they have allowed these children to remain in a home t hat in other cases would be deemded unsuitable and the children would have been snatched. The reason these children were allowed to stay is because they are special needs and hard to place.
“As part of their plea deal, they were allowed to keep the children, even though court-appointed guardians recommended that the children be removed from the home.”
“The couple are on felony probation for child neglect after pleading guilty to four counts in 2002. Investigators who visited the home at the time found holes in the floors and walls, exposed electrical wires, dog-urine stains, dishes piled high in the kitchen and foul conditions in the bathroom.”
This is wrong- why were the children not removed? The answer is simple – CPS would not have been able to find homes for them.
Children have been taken from homes for less than this.
Now a child has been shot because a deputy believed his life was in danger. The deputy’s life is changed and so is the child’s. These two adoptive parents are allowed to keep these children even after two have died in their care- they are allowed to continue to earn money off their backs WHY?
CPS is at it again with their corruption, greed and abuse, because these children are challenged they are expendable.
ROYAL PALM BEACH — A 17-year-old mentally impaired boy who was shot and critically injured by a sheriff’s deputy Sunday night is the son of a couple from The Acreage who have dedicated their lives to caring for adopted children with mental and physical problems – and have had their share of troubles along the way.
For years, Amy and Donald Hutton have cared for several mentally and physically handicapped adopted children, including youths with disabilities from Down syndrome and severe mental retardation to spina bifida.
“This is what we do, and we do it well,” Amy Hutton told The Palm Beach Post in 1993. “We enjoy it. We don’t do anything else.”
Reached by phone Monday, Amy Hutton declined to comment on the shooting.
Officials from the sheriff’s office and the state Department of Children and Families said Monday the Huttons are not under investigation, and that there is no indication of wrongdoing on their part.
The couple started adopting children with severe disabilities in 1975 after they read about children from Vietnam who needed families.
But years later their care for the adopted children would lead to serious problems, including their arrests two times on child-neglect charges and an investigation into the death of one of their adopted children.
The couple are on felony probation for child neglect after pleading guilty to four counts in 2002. Investigators who visited the home at the time found holes in the floors and walls, exposed electrical wires, dog-urine stains, dishes piled high in the kitchen and foul conditions in the bathroom.
As part of their plea deal, they were allowed to keep the children, even though court-appointed guardians recommended that the children be removed from the home.
Their plea agreement bars them from locking any child in a room for any reason.
Then in 2003 their son David Rogers, 13, died from bronchial pneumonia associated with Down syndrome. An investigation concluded the Huttons were not at fault.
Now their family is again in the news with the revelation that a 17-year-old child of theirs made off with their van Sunday night, prompting a confrontation with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office that led to gunfire and left the boy in the hospital.
A sheriff’s office spokeswoman said the boy, whose name was not released, was stable and improving Monday, a day after being shot “multiple times” by a sheriff’s deputy.
Sheriff’s officials say Amy Hutton called 911 Sunday to report her minivan stolen and her son missing.
A deputy soon spotted it and began to follow.
A second deputy from a different district received a complaint about an impaired driver and also spotted the minivan.
Attempting to block the van’s path, the deputy swerved in front of the van at Okeechobee Boulevard and Royal Palm Beach Boulevard, sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
Barbera said the van stopped and the deputy stepped out of the patrol car. Then, she said, the van revved forward again in the deputy’s direction.
The deputy opened fire on the van, fearing for his life, Barbera said. The boy was struck at least twice and taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
Details of the shooting are being investigated by the sheriff’s office, which placed the deputy on routine administrative leave with pay while the investigation progresses
June 6, 2002
Couple charged after 10 children found amid squalor near West Palm
By Jon Burstein
A suburban West Palm Beach couple again are facing child neglect charges after authorities say 10 of their disabled children were found living in squalor for the second time in less than five years.
Donald and Amy Hutton allowed their house to deteriorate around their adopted children, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office alleges. Areas of the house were covered with mold, dirt and urine stains, while a pile of dog feces sat in the living room, according to sheriff’s reports.
Prosecutors pursued the Huttons, both 55, on felony neglect charges in 1997 after sheriff’s deputies reported finding the Huttons’ 14 children — ranging in age from 4 to 14 — living in a home strewn with human waste.
Prosecutors ultimately dropped all 14 charges against the couple after they agreed to comply for six months with conditions recommended by the Department of Children & Families, court records show.
The most recent case stems from an anonymous child-neglect complaint to DCF. A caseworker visited the house on March 15 and called a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy after seeing the family’s living conditions, according to sheriff’s reports.
The deputy found exposed electrical wiring, dog urine stains throughout the house and insufficient food for 12 people, sheriff’s reports show.
The Huttons told deputies they lock their children in their bedrooms at night to keep them from roaming the house. Deadbolt locks were found on some of the doors.
Prosecutors have filed 10 neglect charges against both of the Huttons. Each count carries up to five years in prison.
Appearing in court on Tuesday, they were ordered not to have any contact with the 10 children found inside their home unless allowed by DCF. It was unclear Wednesday where the children are staying.
DCF spokeswoman Kathleen Anders declined to comment late Wednesday on the agency’s involvement with the Huttons, saying she needed to look into the matter.
Donald Hutton declined to comment Wednesday on the recent or prior allegations against him and his wife.
Some of the Huttons’ neighbors said they saw little of the family.
Gerri Bilz said she never hears the family or sees the children. Her husband, Darren Bilz, said he sometimes saw people arriving at the home early in the morning, apparently to help the Huttons.
“When you’re trying to keep up with [multiple] kids, it can be difficult. They’re giving these kids a home,” he said.
Jim Elkins, Amy Hutton’s attorney in the 1997 case, said the couple were in a never-ending battle to keep the house clean but worked hard to provide a loving home for their children.
“They took these kids in that no one else wanted and tried to make lives for them,” Elkins said. “They seemed like very good people.”
Police reports from 1997 indicate that at the time the Huttons had one natural son and 13 adopted children, many of whom suffer from mental or physical disabilities. Some of the children’s conditions include Down syndrome, autism, seizure disorders and behavioral problems.
The first case against the Huttons arose after their 8-year-old son was reported missing on Jan. 24, 1997, from the single-story, 4,000-square-foot home in the 12600 block of 61st Lane North. After the boy was found, deputies returning him were hit by the overwhelming stench of human waste permeating the home in The Acreage, according to police reports.
Human waste was found smeared on walls, doors, bedding, floor and windows, sheriff’s reports said. A large amount of animal waste also was found in the bathroom.
“Each of the 14 children were greatly unkempt and unsupervised,” sheriff’s Detective Paul Teresi wrote. “The children were wearing dirty clothes. Several of them had fecal material on their hands and clothing.”
The Huttons acknowledged it was sometimes overwhelming taking care of so many children, but Amy Hutton said she didn’t feel the home should be held to “institutional standards,” according to sheriff’s reports.
Charges weren’t filed against the Huttons until a year later, in January 1998. Prosecutors agreed to a plea deal in which the charges would be dropped if they complied with a plan designed by DCF. Other than the 1997 charges, the Huttons have no arrests in Florida, according to state records.
The prosecutor on that case, Darren Shull, could not be reached Wednesday night. The prosecutor handling the current case, Lanna Belohlavek, declined to comment.
The Huttons’ next court appearance is June 14.
Staff Writer Peter Franceschina and Staff Researcher Kathryn Pease contributed to this report.
Jon Burstein can be reached at jburstein@sun-sentinel. com or 561-832-2895.
Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel