Police: Putnam County man kept stepson in ‘lock up’ room over spilled sugar

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PUTNAM  COUNTY – A Putnam County man faces neglect charges after police say he confined his 10-year-old stepson to a room without food, water or a toilet after the boy spilled sugar in the kitchen.

Michael Shane Witt, 33, is charged with neglect of a dependent, battery causing bodily harm and domestic battery related to an incident on Saturday at his residence in Cloverdale.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Witt “did knowingly abandon or cruelly confine” the boy, “making him urinate and defecate in a bucket and not emptying it” and depriving him of “necessary food, water, or sanitary facilities.”

Witt called dispatchers at 12:31 a.m. to report that his wife was at his apartment. Witt told officers that the landlord had banned her from the residence.

Witt wanted police to take his wife and kids from the home for failing to respect his “house rules.” He told officers that he was “tired of the kids taking control” of the home and added the he can “do what he wants in his house within the law.”

He also told police that the “government knows what he’s doing” because “they tape/listen to everything.” Police said officers have been called to the residence before and noted similar behavior from Witt in the past.

When police talked to Witt’s wife April, she told them that Shane Witt poked his stepson for spilling sugar and elbowed her. According to court documents, she said, “I’m tired of what/how he does things and calls 911 to prove his point.”

Investigators noticed a “strong odor of urine and feces” coming from a back bedroom area. Inside, they found a “door closed with a rectangle cut out with an extension cord coming out of it.”

April Witt told police the door led to a play area for kids. Investigators noticed the door was locked and that the woman had a hard time opening it. Inside, the officer noticed that the stench got worse and saw a stool in the middle of the room with a circle cut out of the seat and a trash can beneath it to collect urine and feces.

The woman said the room was “just for playing games,” and when the officer said it looked like something different to him, April Witt confronted her husband.

“You see, Shane, this is why you don’t call the police. Thanks, now look at what you’ve done. They’re going to take the kids away,” she said, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Police said the woman started waking up her children in order to get them to tell the officer that the room was just for play.

The officer called the Department of Child Services to interview the 10-year-old boy.

According court documents, the boy said Witt “locks the door on them and tells them not to come out or they will be in more trouble.” He said Witt would not “let them out to use the bathroom and would have to use to the ‘bathroom’ he made for them” and left them inside for “long periods of time.”

Shane Witt told DCS officials the room was for punishment, referring to it as “lock up” and saying he didn’t make children stay inside for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Police arrested Witt, who ranted that this was “a conspiracy” and reiterated that he was being recorded.


  • how sad

    How could anyone do that to there kids, If people dont want there kids then they need to give them to someone that does what them! How could any woman get with a man that would hurt her kids, just so sad!! Thank goodness that he called the police on himself and they found that boy in time before something bad happened to him

    • danielle teepe

      she said in the article, she was mad at him for calling the police,,she was fully aware of what 'they both were doing'.she should be arrested to !!!! weirdo's!!!!

  • danielle teepe

    lots of people like this out there. I know of a person who says we are being recorded and every move we make is being recorded. They even think on-star is "watching us" !! and they always abuse loved or so called loved ones !! horrible!! crazy ! people!!

  • beanie

    Maybe Shane has a point about being recorded…there are an awful lot of exact quotes for a police report. Or was the fox along for the ride, out there in Clovertucky? He's a nut, and the wife tried to protect him above protecting her kids. Take the kids, leave them alone, maybe they'll murder/suicide each other and save us all a lot of money.

  • Anonymous

    Why was the woman not arrested? She clearly knew what was happening! This is absolutely horrible! I feel so sorry for these children!

  • anonymous

    I know the mother in this story and her just like the rest of her family are nasty and live nasty!!!! Pretty sure she has lost her kids before. I know for a fact her sister and mom have taken them because she was to worried about getting cracked out and drunk.

  • anonymous

    Maybe dcs will be smart enough to at least drug screen her…..could bet money she would test positive

  • Debbie Fisher

    The mom should also be arrested… she knew exactly what was going on..things don't just go that wrong overnight. She will just expose the children to someone or something worse…save those kids..!!

  • Sherry Riley

    If Social Services lets these kids get back with their worthless so-called “parents” they should lose their jobs! Enough of returning kids back to parents like them. Lock parents up and throw away the key. And as to IMPD having direct quotes, that would be from the idiot calling 911 all the time “making his point”. Mark my words, this nut-job of a man is obviously unstable enough to do deadly harm to someone not “obeying” him. He is not right. He is not even a man, just a control freak hiding behind a mans body.

  • Kristy

    wow, how sad. I went to school with shane and never woulda imagined him doing this. I believe its do to years of drug use. so sad…

  • Tracy

    Well the truth is He is mental disabled, unstable,and court ordered to take his schizophrenic medication. If he was calling the 911 all the time why did it take so long for them to notice there was something wrong. I don't know the woman, I do know how difficult it can be to help, reorient if possible, where are his mental heath professionals, why did they not know his instability was worsening, I am not condoning what he did, I am saying if he was in his right state of mind he would never. And to all the people who try there best to care for the mentally ill this is a call, if you are in over your head, need help , too sick to continue , PLEASE CALL FOR ASSISTANCE. I am sorry to the children who will one day read this and went threw it. It is a community that let them down ! Also a team of mental health providers, who did not do there JOB with Shane. WAKE UP this is the system of community care for mentally impaired, it is flawed and needs a little shake up. Hopefully This Is It For The County. And to all the FAMILIES struggling to care for the mentally disabled , You need a COMMUNITY of SUPPORT and I am SO SORRY WE ALL FAILED YOU!

  • justme

    Pretty sure this is a crackhead and his crackhead wife not wanting to deal with the kids. lets leave mental illness out of this

  • anonymous

    I know this family the mother was a junkie constantly pushing the kids on someone so she and shane could get messed up. This has nothing to do with mental health yeah shane had problems but it really boils down to all the drugs they were doing.I’m glad that this is finally getting taken care of and all aprils boys are being giving to someone who loves them and takes care of them.

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