Therian and Recardo Wimbush 
Photo: Gwinnett County jail
Photo: Gwinnett County jail

Ex-Tech standout, wife accused of locking son in basement ask for release — and $540M

In June 2014, Therian and Recardo Wimbush turned themselves in at the Gwinnett County jail to face allegations that they locked their oldest child in a basement bedroom for months and months at a time.

Nearly 2 1/2 years later, the couple has delivered an unusual, handwritten "plea offer" to the Gwinnett County District Attorney's Office. It's one that asks for their charges to be dropped — and for the county to give them what amounts to more than half a billion dollars in "restitutionary redress."

The two-page document is only the latest bizarre filing in the long-drawn out case.

Therian and Recardo Wimbush, the latter an ex-Georgia Tech football standout, have remained incarcerated since their original arrest. Authorities believe the deeply religious couple punished the oldest of their 10 children by imprisoning him in a basement bedroom for as long as two years. 

The room had only a mattress and a makeshift toilet, police have said, and the lone window was painted over. The boy, 13 years old at the time of his parents' arrest, reportedly told police he was being punished for "taking the family DVD player and lying about it."

The Wimbushes, who are currently serving as their own attorneys, are scheduled to have an arraignment hearing Friday morning, in which they'll be formally charged with the new indictment handed down against them last month.

The letter filed by the couple on Monday calls that indictment — which includes seven counts apiece of child cruelty — "false, fictitious and fraudulent." Titled "Joint Wimbush Plea Offer," the letter asks for all charges to be dismissed and for the couple to be "IMMEDIATELY" released from jail. 

It also demands "$600,000 per day for each day that they have spent falsely imprisoned in the Gwinnett County Jail." If the couple was indeed released at Friday's hearing, that would add up to more than $540 million — more than a third of the proposed 2017 budget for the entirety of the Gwinnett County government.

The Wimbushes did, however, propose a payment plan: 60 percent upon their supposed release, and the remaining 40 percent "over the subsequent two years, payable on the first of each month beginning on February 1, 2017."

Since taking over as her own attorney — and later encouraging her husband to do the same — Therian Wimbush has filed dozens of motions and other legal actions related to the couple's case. In June 2015, she filed a lawsuit against six child services workers, three judges, two attorneys, one police detective and an “anonymous caller," essentially alleging a conspiracy and asking for $500 million.

Asked Wednesday for comment on the couple's latest filing, prosecutor Dan Mayfield said only this: "I look forward to a jury trial very soon."

A trial date has not yet been set but could be scheduled at Friday's hearing.

Read the full “plea offer” below.

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