Manns opt to reject plea agreement

Two South Kitsap grandparents accused of keeping adopted children hog-tied in their home rejected a plea agreement this week that would have “significantly” lowered their jail time and instead opted to stand trial in Kitsap County Superior Court.

Judith Kay Mann, 61, and her husband, Larry Lee Mann, 66, were each charged with one count of assault of a child in the second degree and one count of unlawful imprisonment last June after one of their adopted grandchildren was reportedly found wandering a mile from their home, and another allegedly tied-up on a bed.

Deputy Prosecutor Claire Bradley said if the Manns had accepted the plea agreement she offered them this week they would both be facing a maximum of four years in prison.

However, since the defendants refused to change their pleas to guilty, Bradley said they will be facing several more charges and “a significantly longer sentence” if they are ultimately found guilty.

“If their cases go to trial, I will be adding more counts of child abuse and unlawful imprisonment, either second or third degree, and for an exceptional sentence due to aggravating circumstances,” Bradley said.

Bradley said the plea agreement is not off the table, however, and the Manns can still decide to accept it before their next hearing in September.

Although the Manns were originally scheduled to begin trial Aug. 15, both defendants waived their rights to a speedy trial Thursday after Judith Mann’s attorney Roger Hunko requested a continuance to allow more time for his investigation.

Hunko also addressed Judge Jay B. Roof regarding his client’s attire which, instead of the usual green inmate uniform, was red, normally denoting a defendant requires special handling due to behavioral problems or the nature of the charges against him or her.

“My client would like it stated that she is not wearing red because of any problems in the jail, but simply because they have no place to safely keep her,” Hunko said.

The Manns were arrested June 11 after a thin and disheveled 10-year-old boy in pajamas was found walking barefoot on the Manns’ street around 4:30 a.m. that day, claiming to have escaped their house after having been tied up for several days, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies entered the home, they discovered the boy’s 7-year-old sister hog-tied — her ankles and wrists bound with plastic zip ties — on a mattress. They also found a third child, reportedly the 11-year-old son of Judith Mann’s son James Vance, who was not tied up but appeared malnourished.

According to Vance, his son and the other two children share the same mother, but custody of all three was granted to his mother and stepfather.

The Manns’ cases are currently scheduled to be tried together starting Oct. 17.

Their next court date is an omnibus hearing Sept. 13.

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