Yenier Conde, a 33-year-old father living in Lansing with his wife and five children, was sentenced to prison recently for the role he played in the violent abuse of his children for years. According to the detective who investigated the scene, the dark room where the five Conde children were locked up, often without food or water or access to a bathroom, was “like a dungeon”.
When CPS was called to the scene after the children were found in 2017, they told investigators that they were often beaten and threatened with guns by their father. They said they had routinely been exposed to domestic violence for their entire lives. CPS removed the five children and placed them in foster care, and then set about having the Conde’s parental rights revoked. But losing custody and even legal access to his kids was only one aspect of the punishment for Yenier Conde.
The Conde’s admitted what they had done, and claimed
Yenier Conde had taken a plea deal which meant 13 of the charges he was facing were dismissed. However, on the day of his sentencing, he attempted to withdraw his plea, claiming that he hadn’t realized how it would impact his immigration process. But the Judge denied him, saying that he would most likely have been convicted on all those charges anyway, and should be glad to get the minimal sentence he was receiving.
Conde wept during his recent sentencing, which his attorney said was because he understood the gravity of the situation, and wanted to do better. “The loss of freedom, losing his children, losing the right to parent, those are all significant deterrents.” his attorney told the court. “He is not minimizing his role, he’s accepting the need to be better.” But the Judge and the prosecutor weren’t buying it.
The prosecutor claimed Conde “had never been a father to begin with”
“He doesn’t deserve to be a father.” Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Stevens announced to the court. “I don’t think he deserved those children. He thought of these children as nothing more than his property.” As for the children, three of whom testified against Conde at his trial, Stevens described them as “loving, sweet, energetic, bright children” who are doing well in their foster homes, despite all their years with Conde and his wife.
Conde was sentenced to five and a half to ten years in prison, which many people have said was not nearly enough, given the violence in that home. This was a terrible case, and the treatment those children received was appalling. But as dedicated child abuse defense attorneys we understand that there’s always more to the story, and that regardless of what someone may have done, the law entitles them to a vigorous defense. Which is exactly what we offer every one of our clients, without judgement or condemnation.