Ultra-religious, former Georgia Tech football star Recardo Wimbush (pictured above), 33, and his wife, Therian Cornelia (pictured), 37, have been arrested and are facing malicious and intentional cruelty to children and false imprisonment charges, after police discovered they had allegedly been keeping their 13-year-old son confined to a room in their basement for most of the past two years. The parents contend the child “sinned” when he stole the family’s DVD player then lied about it and the extreme punishment was a disciplinary move, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (AJC).
Wimbush and Therian, who are known to be strict disciplinarians and admitted devotees of an unusual religion which worships Yah, are the parents of 10 children. The family lives in a large home in Buford, Ga., located right outside of Atlanta.
The child in question, whose name has been withheld for obvious reasons, reportedly had no access to books, toys, entertainment devices of any kind, or access to his other nine siblings. The boy’s dark room reportedly consisted of a bare box springs mattress and a large plastic jar where he would relieve himself. And while police detectives did determine that the child was fed at regular intervals and his living area was kept clean, they have surmised that the boy was not home schooled during the time he was confined.
When the Wimbushes reportedly stood before a judge on June 19th for a preliminary hearing, the parents stated that the victim was a threat to his other siblings. Sources, however, refute what the parents stated in court and alleged that the child was being severely punished for taking the family’s DVD player.
The husband and wife also allegedly did not allow their home schooled children to interact with others, and according to neighbor Pam Harris, who spoke to the AJC, they were never seen on their own without their parents and she never saw the children playing outside in the 11 years the family resided in the home. Harris also alleges that on Halloween, when children would knock on the Wimbushes’ door expecting a candy treat, they would instead receive bibles.
“Once they had a notice on their door that blew in to my yard. It said those who work on Sunday should be put to death,” Harris reveals.
According to Harris, the police warrants issued, which resulted in the Wimbushes arrest, came from an anonymous tip that was reported to the Department of Family and Children Services. When police arrived at the Wimbush residence, all 10 children were removed from the property and placed under the care of DFCS.
Meanwhile, those who knew Wimbush during his football glory days at Georgia Tech are blown away by the allegations facing him now. Former teammate Jeremy Muyres, who was a college co-captain with Wimbush told AJC, “The one thing I do know is Recardo’s one of the best guys I’ve ever been around,” said Muyres, now a teacher and football coach at Norcross High School. “Obviously, hearing about it, it’s shocking, but I don’t know all the details. None of us do yet.”
Wimbush was a celebrated athlete in college graduating from Georgia Tech in 2010. The former linebacker signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2003 as an undrafted free agent but was let go after training camp.
The Wimbush case is still being investigated.