A state appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday upheld the termination of parental rights for the father and two mothers of 14 surviving children in a cult-like communal family in Marin County.
A 15th child, 19-month-old Ndigo Wright, was found to have died of severe malnutrition and neglect when four women in the group sometimes known as “The Family” brought his deformed body to Kaiser Hospital in San Rafaelin 2001.
The father, Winnfred Wright, and two of the children’s mothers pleaded guilty to child endangerment and neglect charges in Marin County Superior Court in 2002.
Wright was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison, Mary Campbell to 10 years and Deidre Wilson to seven years and four months. A third mother, Carol Bremner, who was the parent of two of the 14 children, was also charged, but died of leukemia in 2002.
A judge terminated the parental rights of Wright, Wilson and Campbell, who filed an appeal. They argued in part that the children needed their relationship with their mothers.
But a three-judge appeals court panel unanimously agreed with the lower court that the abusive parenting outweighed any positive aspects of the children’s relationship with their mothers.
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