Fourth torture suspect appears in court

December 11, 2008 5:33:26 PM PST
The fourth suspect charged in the imprisonment and torture of a teenage boy made his first court appearance on Thursday. Anthony Waiters stands accused of actively participating in the abuse of the 16-year-old boy, who escaped from a Tracy home earlier this month.

Anthony Waiters has lived in the same neighborhood since he was a teenager. On Thursday, his mother cried as he was escorted into a Stockton courtroom and was arraigned on a variety of charges, including that he beat with a baseball bat and kept captive a neighbor.

A Tracy youth football coach, Anthony Waiters sat shackled in an orange jail jump suit, listening to the nine felony counts against him.

The 29-year-old Waiters lives next to the house where police say a 16-year-old boy was subjected to 15 months of systematic abuse.

Three other suspects all appeared in court Monday. Michael Schumacher, his wife Kelly Lau and the boy's former guardian Caren Ramirez are all charged with multiple felonies.

Police say they kept the boy chained to a fireplace, starved him and regularly abused him with a belt, knives and a baseball bat.

The charges against Waiters include torture, false imprisonment, corporal injury to a child and infliction of great bodily injury with a baseball bat.

Waiters' aunt and mother have defended him, and his brother angrily responded to reporters Wednesday night.

"You all got his name all over the (beep) news. Leave him the (beep) out of it and off his Momma's property," said the suspect's brother Rodney Waiters.

Police searched Waiters' home and recovered several items, including a bottle of bleach and a computer.

The judge says she'll temporarily seal all documents related to searches.

"In the case of the first search warrant, it was released to the public before any of the attorneys had even seen it. And that is clearly not fair to the either side," said Judge Cinda Fox from the San Joaquin County Superior Court.

Waiters was arrested at a Pleasanton office of a Realtor's Association where he's worked for the past four years in technical support with a clear record.

He is now at a San Joaquin County jail with a $1.9 million bail and is due back in court January 5th along with the three other defendants.


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