GLOUCESTER - Brian and Shannon Gore, the Gloucester couple accused of keeping their child in a makeshift cage, pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony child abuse charges.

Jury selection had begun when news came that the couple had changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty. The Gores also entered Alford pleas on aggravated malicious wounding charges.

Sheriff's deputies say in April 2011 they found the Gore's six-year-old daughter when they investigated a burglary report, stating the little girl was naked, covered in feces and malnourished. She was in a crib that had been made into a cage with a piece of wood as a top.

In the early jury selection, a woman with three children was excused from serving after saying she followed the case and had already formed an opinion.

Another woman, an elementary school teacher, also was dismissed after saying she, too, followed the case and would be looking for the Gores to overcome the prosecutor's evidence.

By mid-afternoon, lawyers said the Gores would change their plea.

The couple faces up from one to 10 years for the felony child abuse charge and 20 years to life for aggravated malicious wounding.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 10.

'Them pleading guilty, they're going to come off lenient and I don't think that's right. I mean, for them to do that to a child a human person having them in a cage, feces all around them, it's not right man,' said Howard Jones.

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