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Grandfather Jailed On Child-Sale Charge

January 7, 1987

PASADENA, Texas (AP) _ A man has been jailed in lieu of $25,000 bond after he was charged with trying to sell his 20-month-old granddaughter for $1,700.

If convicted of the felony, Roy Dean French, 55, could face a 10-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine, authorities said.

Authorities said the man initially offered to trade the girl for $1,500 cash and an old pickup truck, but accepted the larger cash payment in the parking lot of a Pasadena discount store Saturday morning.

Police, who watched the transaction from hiding, then arrested and charged him.

On Wednesday, French was still in the Harris County Jail.

French, of Decatur, Ill., had been in Pasadena about three weeks. He earned less than $250 a week as a roofer, according to documents he filled out after his arrest.

The child, Patricia Anne French, who was unhurt in the episode, is in custody of Chriss and Linda Harlow of Houston, the couple who had contacted French about adopting the infant. The couple is reportedly distantly related to French, police said.

″For whatever reason, he (French) couldn’t take care of Patricia, and he let it be known that he wanted to give her up,″ said Eric Hagstette, an assistant Harris County district attorney.

Hagstette said the identity and location of the girl’s parents are unknown.

Judy Hay of Harris County Children’s Protective Services said the Harlows plan to legally adopt Patricia. The couple was instrumental in the arrest of French, police said.

French had acquired legal custody of the child and a sibling from his 19- year-old daughter while still in Decatur, authorities said. After the man’s wife died recently, he gave up the other child for legal adoption and moved to Pasadena with Patricia.

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