'If he would talk his dad would beat him with a board'
VANCOUVER, Wash. – A Vancouver, Wash. couple is accused of beating, starving and imprisoning their adopted twins for years, and the state of Washington was warned about the abuse years ago, according to court documents.
Jeff and Sandra Weller face second degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and criminal mistreatment charges for allegedly abusing their adopted twins. They were arrested Oct. 12 after police were tipped off by child protective services.
Documents said there were six children living in the Vancouver home, including two boys Jeff Weller had with his ex-wife.
According to court documents in Jeff Weller’s divorce and custody case with his ex-wife, Weller told the court his ex-wife had “a pattern of abuse against her children and neglected them.”
His ex-wife's mother, the boys’ grandmother, said it was Jeff Weller who was abusive.
“If he would talk his dad would beat him with a board.”
The boys’ grandmother, Beth, agreed to speak with KATU News if we did not use her last name or show her face.
Beth said she is sad about what happened to her grandchildren and she is mad at the system.
According to a January, 2008 Department of Social and Health Services report, one of her grandsons told a social worker the Wellers punished him by forcing him to stand in a corner for days.
He also said he was “going without food in his father’s home.”
“My grandson was telling me how his dad would give him one apple a day,” said Beth. “That’s what he got to eat for an entire day.”
Beth said what’s most upsetting to her is the state of Washington knew all of this, but a guardian appointed by the court took the boys from their mother in June and placed them in the Wellers’ home.
In July, the boys’ great-grandmother told the family law court that Sandra Weller abused one of the boys by lifting him up against the wall by his throat. She also said Sandra Weller confined him in his room for a month.
The boys remained in the home until the Wellers were arrested Oct. 12 on abuse charges related to their adopted twins. They are now with their mother in Battle Ground, Wash.