A former U.S. army major and his wife were convicted Wednesday of abusing their children through neglectful and cruel acts, including breaking their bones, denying them medical attention, withholding water and force-feeding them hot sauce.
John Jackson, 40, a former Army major based in Picatinny Arsenal Installation in Morris County, NJ and his wife Carolyn Jackson, 37, were both found guilty of one count of conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child. Carolyn Jackson was found guilty of 11 substantive counts of endangering the welfare of a child while John Jackson was found guilty of nine substantive counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Prosecutors say the Jacksons' three foster children, all of them toddlers, suffered injuries including a broken arm and fractured spine and were severely underweight when they were removed from the family home in 2010.
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The children were forced to eat hot pepper flakes and drink hot sauce as punishment. The couple's attorneys argued that their child-raising methods may have been objectionable but weren't illegal.
Sentencing for the couple, who currently live in Burlington County, is scheduled for Oct. 13,