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Family Ties That Bind Loosened A Little Bit

The judge who ordered a teenager shackled to her mother for a month to keep her out of trouble has decided to make the arrangement more comfortable for both.

Family Court Judge Wayne Creech ruled that 15-year-old Tonya Kline may be connected to her mother by a nylon belt around her waist that is attached to a strap instead of by the traditional prisoner’s shackles. And he said the girl’s mother, Deborah Harter, may opt to share the 24-hour responsibility of watching Tonya with her husband.

“Mrs. Harter needs a break,” said Tonya’s attorney, Kevin Kearse.

The judge ordered Tonya shackled to her mother last week after Harter said she would do anything to keep her daughter from being returned to a juvenile detention center.

Tonya had spent two months there for burglary and has a history of truancy and shoplifting.