Jarrod Nicholas Tutko, 38, is shown in this undated handout photo.REUTERS

The parents who starved to death their nine-year-old disabled son and nearly did the same to a disabled daughter face decades in a Pennsylvania prison at their sentencing on Wednesday for murder.


Jarrod Tutko Sr., 39, and his wife, Kimberly Tutko, 40, both of Harrisburg, pleaded guilty in October to third-degree murder and related offenses in the death of Jarrod Tutko Jr., and the near-death of his sister Arianna.


After they pleaded guilty, prosecutor Sean McCormack said he would seek consecutive sentences amounting to 26 to 52 years for the father, and 23-1/2 to 47 years for the mother because of the gravity of their crimes.


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"We anticipate and hope that the sentences will be tantamount to life in prison,” McCormack said in Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas in Harrisburg. He said neither parent showed remorse.

Neither Michael Palermo, the lawyer for Jarrod Tutko, nor Bradley Winnick, Kimberly Tutko's lawyer, responded to repeated requests for comment.

The couple lived with their six children, all but one suffering from a medical or developmental disorder. Kimberly Tutko has four other children, fathered by a different man, and they were all taken away from her by court order.

On Aug. 1, 2014, Harrisburg police went to the Tutko residence and found the decomposing body of Jarrod Jr., who had died about four days earlier. He suffered from Fragile-X Syndrome, a genetic disorder, and was 3-1/2 feet tall and weighed less than 17 pounds because of starvation, an autopsy found.

His parents kept him locked in a third-floor room with no bed or lights, where he smeared himself and the walls with his feces, authorities said.

The daughter, Arianna, 10, was found in a second-floor bedroom in a coma, hours from death, police said. She recovered, and all five children were taken from the parents by state authorities.