Baker County man sentenced for chaining boy, growing pot

MACCLENNY, Fla. - At a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Troy Howell was in tears as he told a Baker County judge he was sorry for chaining up his nephew to a bed, but the did it to keep him from running away.

Howell was arrested 11 months ago when the teen's sister told school official her brother was chained to the bed.  At the time police said it was a way to keep the boy from going to police about marijuana being grown in the mobile home where they were living.

With his family beside him in court, Howell was sentenced to 7½ years in prison on charges of false imprisonment and operating a grow house.

Howell's sister, who is the mother of the teen who was chained to the bed, said he son Brandon was wrong, but so was Howell.

"Brandon was wrong in a lot of things he did, and they both were kind of in the wrong," Sharon Smith said. "Victims all the way around. And that is all I got to say."

The teenager is now living in Ohio.  The judge said today that no one was there speaking on his behalf.

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