The pair were given probation before judgment.
Frederick, Md (KM & DG) The couple behind the “DaddyOFive” YouTube videos were in court last week, and they got a break from the judge: a reduce sentence.
Heather and Mike Martin of Ijamsville were convicted in 2017 of child neglect for streaming their controversial YouTube videos. The two were sentenced to five years of supervised probation.
But Circuit Court Judge Theresa Adams changed that to probation before judgment, which means that if they abide by the requirements of their probation, their conviction would be removed from their permanent record.
Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says his office opposed that at first, but realizes the couple needs to make money in order to pay their child support. “We didn’t want them to be able to get this taken off their record in some point and time in the future,” he said. “But the judge understood they do have to maintain employment, and this was interfering with Ms. Martin’s CPA certification. And I believe that was the primary motivator for the judge to reduce the sentence to a probation before judgment.”
The Martins made over 300 videos, some showing the couple smashing their son’s XBox, framing him for spilling ink on the floor, and pushing him into a bookcase, apparently giving him a bloody nose. They claimed these videos were pranks played on their kids.
The couple was investigated after these videos made national news. The investigation led to them being charged with child neglect.
The Martins entered an alford plea which means they don’t admit guilt, but acknowledge that the State has enough evidence to successfully prosecute them. YouTube took down the videos after the Martins’ were convicted.
As part of their sentence, they must not post any videos to YouTube, and continue to take down their videos. They also lost custody of their children, but they must continue paying for their support.
“These were egregious videos. It wasn’t even close to being a prank video,” says Smith. “These kids were unaware of what was happening to them and it was downright abusive. It was neglectful at a minimum.”
Kevin McManus & Dianah Gibson