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Mallo patriarch sentenced to jail time for filthy home

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Kanawha Circuit judge has sentenced the oldest of the Mallo family to one to three years in prison for ignoring the filthy and abusive environment of his home, saying he hopes he serves the maximum time. 

Alexander Mallo, 68, who also uses the last name Doran, already has been incarcerated for 404 days and could come before a parole board to consider his release soon.

Judge Charles King denied a request by Mallo's public defender Shawn Bayliss for probation, saying the public good demanded a prison sentence.

"Anything less than a prison sentence is out of order given the facts and circumstances of this case," King said. "I don't know if I've ever seen a home like this, ever.

"These conditions and the conduct that was going on ... there's no excuse. None. None. None," said King.

The man lived in a house on Frame Street with several family members including grandchildren. One of them, 14-year-old Thomas Mallo, stabbed 82-year-old neighbor Phyllis Phares to death a year ago. Police called it one of the most disturbing crimes they'd ever investigated.

The juvenile, prosecuted as an adult, will be sentenced for that murder Wednesday by Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

The investigation of Phares' death revealed the Mallo home as a nightmarish place of extreme unsanitary conditions and child neglect that included sexual crimes. Five adults and the juvenile were prosecuted.

Bayliss said, "The home has been documented as a filthy, vile place" that revealed "a life out of control not only for a grandfather but for an entire family. .. torn apart, separated, isolated, incarcerated."

He asked for mercy for Mallo.

King declined, saying he didn't want the county probation department to handle him.

"They've already put enough time in on this family," the judge said. "Let the parole department supervise him. But I hope he serves every day of his three-year sentence."

Prosecutor Mark Plants said he was satisfied with King's sentence.

"We wanted a prison sentence and I think it's justified in this case," Plants said. "Yes, the house was deplorable, but the real problem was the kids in the home being abused.

"One of the main moral obligations we have on this planet is taking care of our children," Plants said. "And if you don't do it, you should be prosecuted and you should be in jail."

Mallo told King he was sorry for overlooking what was happening in his house. 

"I'd like to get back to my wife, to get our life back together," the elder Mallo told King. "I should be more in touch with what's going on in my house."

He and his wife, Carolyn Mallo, were charged with child neglect. She was sentenced to ten months in jail and was released in April having served most of that time already. She attended the hearing Tuesday along with other Mallo family members.

One of them expressed outrage that reporters were writing about the hearing and taking pictures of her in the courtroom. As Mallo was led out by a bailiff, she strode over to a television cameraman and called him "rude" because he filmed her crying. She also told a newspaper reporter she didn't want anything written about the sentencing.


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