Trial: Twin recounts beatings with wooden board
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- One of the adopted twins whom prosecutors said was imprisoned and starved by his parents took the stand on Tuesday afternoon to recount the violent beatings.
The 17-year-old told the Clark County jury that he was directed to lie down on the floor, take off his jeans when he was whacked repeatedly - 40 to 50 times -- with a wooden board.
Asked how often Jeffrey Weller would strike him, the teen said: "Too many to count."
"It's hard to describe because while that's happening you're trying to focus on something else, grit your teeth and scream because you know obviously that's what they want," he testified. "It will be over soon -- just a few more."
Prosecutors called several witnesses in the trial of Weller and his wife, Sandra Weller, charged with imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted twins. The trial is taking place in Clark County Superior Court; a 12-member jury was selected on Monday.
A police officer showed the board recovered from the Wellers' garage in October 2011 in Vancouver. It had reddish stains that were presumably blood.
And it wasn't just beatings, as Officer Sandra Aldridge described to the jury. The twins, then 16, were kept in a filthy bedroom with no electricity and only were fed one meal a day: a porridge substance, prosecutors allege.
The Wellers kept their well-stocked refrigerator and kitchen cabinets locked and under video surveillance. Their biological children, however, were treated differently, Aldridge said.
"All the other rooms, there were no locks on windows or anything like that," Aldridge testified. "They all had electricity. There were toys, games around."
The other twin is expected to testify on Wednesday.