MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 39-year-old Lakeville man pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft in connection with a child neglect case last October.
Zachariah Wilson pleaded guilty to theft by temporary control in connection with the case and was sentenced to 17 months in prison. The co-defendant in the case, Angela Robinson, pleaded guilty to the same charge in December.
By entering the plea, Wilson had a charge for gross misdemeanor child neglect dropped. The two allegedly went missing last October with their children and drove around for several days before they were found in a car behind a grocery store in unsanitary conditions.
Their children, ages 4 and 7, lived at Robinson’s mother’s home in Lakeville. The couple was accused of taking Robinson’s mother’s car and said they would drop it off at a friend’s place, but they left with the children and went missing for days.
Robinson is a former heroin and pill user, and Wilson was on probation for terroristic threats and had violated that probation by not reporting to his agent. Five days after they disappeared, their car was spotted near a loading dock by a driver making a delivery to a Minneapolis grocery store.
The driver confronted them and they said they were “doing surveillance” before a child jumped into the backseat. Wilson allegedly hit the child.
Police arrived to the scene and searched the vehicle, which revealed a syringe in the center console. Officers said the family had an odor that showed they hadn’t bathed in days. One of the kids told a social worker they drove around for days and hadn’t bathed or brushed their teeth, and went without breakfast, lunch or dinner some days.
Wilson’s sentence is running concurrently with a conviction for threats of violence and second-degree DWI dating back to July 21, 2016. The sentence was 21 months and was executed on Nov. 1, 2016, after a probation violation.