Mother: Father accused of letting children out in cold is remorseful, calls him sons' 'support'
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- William McFarland is a good father, according to his girlfriend of 10 years, Stephanie Hess. McFarland is in custody at the Stutsman County Correctional Center, charged with child neglect after police found the couple's two you...
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- William McFarland is a good father, according to his girlfriend of 10 years, Stephanie Hess.
McFarland is in custody at the Stutsman County Correctional Center, charged with child neglect after police found the couple's two younger children, Owen, 3, and Preston, 2, outside in freezing weather on Nov. 30.
McFarland, 28, has pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released from the Stutsman County jail today on a promise to appear at future hearings, police said.
McFarland's court-appointed attorney, William Mackenzie, was out of the office today and could not be reached for comment, a receptionist at his Jamestown law office said.
"He's not a bad guy, he's really not," Hess said about McFarland. "He's their support."
Hess said the week before the incident, she found out the baby she was carrying for four months, which would have been their fourth child, had died. That morning she had gone into the hospital for surgery to complete what had been a partial miscarriage.
"I took it hard," she said. "We have three boys. We were hoping for a girl." The couple also have a 7-year-old son, Nolan.
Hess said when she left for the hospital Owen was asleep on the living room couch and McFarland was asleep in bed with Preston.
"He (McFarland) had been up with me night after night when I was up crying," she said. "He was tired and stressed out. He just didn't hear them at all."
Hess said she locked the door when she left the house, but the door can still be opened from the inside while it's locked on the outside. There is a deadbolt, but she doesn't have a key.
Hess said McFarland is a very cautious father who won't even let Preston climb the stairs by himself.
"He's very remorseful," she said.
The article includes material from The Associated Press.
The Jamestown Sun and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.