UPDATE on the Tracy Case
Couple Arrested in Chained Teen Case
4 adults indicted in torture of teen in Tracy
Teen in Tracy torture case was burned by lighter fluid, bleach, doctor testifies - San Jose Mercury News
Tracy Press - Tracy torture victim s disappearance long unknown to police
By Sophia Kazmi
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 11/10/2009 12:00:00 AM PST
STOCKTON — A San Joaquin County judge has refused to drop torture charges against two of the suspects accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy who said he was beaten, burned and denied food at a Tracy home before escaping last year.
Attorneys for Michael Schumacher, 35, and Anthony Waiters, 30, asked Judge Terrence Van Oss on Monday to throw out the torture count among others in the 17-count grand jury indictment against their clients.
Schumacher, Waiters, Schumacher's neighbor; Schumacher's wife, 31-year-old Kelly Lau; and CarenRamirez, 44, who said she was the aunt of the boy, publicly known as Kyle R., face a series of charges of torture, false imprisonment, criminal threats, aggravated mayhem and corporal injury to a child.
All have pleaded not guilty. If convicted they could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
John Casenave, Schumacher's attorney argued that torture requires a motive such as revenge, persuasion, extortion or sadistic purposes and the grand jury testimony — taken in secret without the defendants or their attorneys present — does not reflect a motive.
"I'm not saying the allegations are not horrific," Casenave said, adding that he doesn't believe the grand jury transcripts show that his client committed torture.
Waiters attorney, Alan Jose, said without such motives the charge should be child abuse, not torture.
Van Oss said the grand jury could reasonably assume that Waiters and the others committed the abuse, which allegedly went on for more than a year, for sadistic purposes.
"He deliberately sliced the boy's arm then poured salt on the wounds," Van Oss said of one of many acts of abuse Waiters is accused of committing.
As for Schumacher, Van Oss said there is enough evidence to show that he aided and abetted the incidents because he allowed them to occur in his Tennis Lane home.
In addition to torture charges, Van Oss also let stand charges of aggravated mayhem and assault with a caustic chemical against Schumacher, which his attorney wanted tossed out. The criminal threats and great bodily injury clause against Waiters also stood.
A great bodily injury clause in one of the counts was dismissed against Schumacher and use of a dangerous weapon clause in the same count was dismissed against Waiters, but the charge as a whole stood.
Van Oss commented the case is strange, especially due to do the number of suspects and the length of the alleged abuse.
"Everyone taking part in this, it's just bizarre," Van Oss said.
Kyle R. stumbled into a Tracy fitness center on Dec. 1, 2008. He was bloody, filthy, emaciated, in rags and wore a three-foot chain on his ankle. He told police he was kept in a house where he was chained to a fireplace, regularly beaten and denied food.
All four are being held without bail at San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp. They will return to court Nov. 17 to change their trial date, which was scheduled for Feb. 1.
Judge refuses to dismiss torture charges against two suspects in Tracy child torture case - Inside Bay Area
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