Knoxville — Kenneth R. Strand, 23, of Knoxville, pled guilty to neglect of a dependent person Friday morning in Marion County District Court.
Strand accepted a plea agreement from Marion County Attorney Ed Bull and pled guilty to the charge, stemming from an April 7 incident, in which he left his sons, ages two and three months at the time, alone in his apartment. Strand left for a few minutes to pick up a pizza, but told Judge Randy Hefner that the children were in a playpen and swing, respectively.
In exchange for the plea, the State is not expected to resist a deferred judgement and will recommend three years' probation for Strand. The charge Strand pled guilty to is a Class "C" Felony. The sentence handed down will be done so at the discretion of the judge presiding over the Sept. 20 sentencing hearing, and could include up to 10 years in prison.
Bull, when explaining the plea offer to Hefner, said he believes Strand's actions were a "byproduct of (Strand's) age." He is unlikely to offend again, Bull said.
Strand represented himself for financial reasons. He said he would never leave his children alone again.