Mike and Heather Martin, the Maryland parents behind the DaddyOFive YouTube channel — who conducted cruel pranks on their kids that many felt verged on child abuse — have received five years of probation.
The Martins — each of whom faced two charges of child neglect in a Maryland Circuit Court — entered Alford pleas today, reports The Frederick News-Post. In an Alford plea, defendants don’t necessarily admit guilt, but concede that prosecutors have enough evidence to obtain a conviction.
As part of their sentences, Judge Theresa Adams also ordered that the Martins cease contact with the two children involved in the child neglect charges — 12-year-old Emma and nine-year-old Cody. (The Martins lost custody of both children in May after legal action by their biological mother, Rose Hall; however, Mike and Heather still have three other children in their care). In addition to ceasing contact, the Martins are prohibited from posting images of Emma and Cody on social media — unless it’s for “family purposes,” according to the Post. If the Martins violate their probation, they could face up to 10 years in prison.
After widespread outcry about the DaddyOFive videos kicked off in April, deputies investigated the Martins for one video in particular in which they squirted invisible ink across Cody’s bedroom and then screamed at him for ruining his carpet in a vicious, expletive-laden rant. A second video also caught the eye of local law enforcement, according to the Post, in which the Martins told Cody that he would have to move out of the house and live somewhere else.
After the videos came to light — thanks in part to YouTube commentator Phil DeFranco — the Martins privated all of the videos on DaddyOFive, claimed that the pranks were fake, and then subsequently offered an apology, conceding that they’d made some “terrible parenting decisions”.
While the DaddyOFive channel is no more, the family continues to post pranks — though not involving their children — on a separate channel called MommyOFive. Mike also operates a gaming channel called DaddyOFive Gaming.