Kingsport, Tenn., resident Shawn Wayne Hughes is officially out of the running for the best parent of the year award after attempting to sell his daughter to raise bail money for his girlfriend Wednesday.
Times News reported that the 32-year-old father was arrested last week after the man tried to exchange his 6-year-old daughter for cash in a parking lot.
Hughs reportedly contacted the girl's grandmother while she was visiting with authorities after having concerns for the young girl's well-being. Authorities had listened in on conversation between Hughes and the 75-year-old woman, telling her to stage a sale in which Hughes allegedly agreed to sign over custodial rights for a fee of $1,500.
The unidentified woman told police that Hughes originally asked her for $2,000 to bail out his girlfriend and her granddaughter, Jessica April Carey, but that she denied him. Hughes reportedly returned later on requesting $300, which she gave him before he was seen taking the 6-year-old, leaving his other child behind.
Carey was arrested in connection with suspicion of child abuse and neglect for the couple’s two children Thursday. Hughes was arrested for a DUI the same day as his 27-year-old girlfriend but was released on bail shortly after.
Hughes is being charged with illegal payments in connection with the placement of a child, a felony and two counts of drug possession after police uncovered sedative drug Clonazepam and other pills in his possession at the time of the arrest.
Hughes was arraigned Thursday with his bond set at $16,000. He is currently awaiting trial at Sullivan County Detention Center. Carey was placed in another Sullivan County jail in Blountville.
Hughes isn’t the only parent who tried to sell his child; Chinese couple Li Lin and Li Juan sold their three children in 2011 in an effort to pay for their video game addiction. The couple reportedly sold their second child, a daughter, for $500 and their first-born son and third child for $4,600 each. When a grandmother of the children reported the sales, the pair claimed they didn’t know it was illegal.
Another couple in India, Sandhya Devi and Ashok Kumar, sold their newborn son for $722 in 2012 to help afford the payments for the treatments for their sick 3-year-old son. The parents and the neighbors they sold the infant to were arrested and released on bail.