Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Son testifies against custodial dad, step in torture trial (Detroit, Michigan)

The defense attorney accuses this boy of wanting to live with his mom. Oh the horror! Why would he want to do that???

The torture daddy is identified as CHARLES BOTHUELL IV. We have poste on this case before.

US | Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:18pm EDT

Michigan boy held in basement describes extreme exercise, abuse

DETROIT | By Serena Maria Daniels (Reuters) - A Michigan boy who was found emaciated in his own basement after going missing for 11 days last year told a court on Tuesday that he was forced to exercise for up to two hours every morning and again each night and would suffer abuse if he slacked off.

If he faltered, he was struck by a plastic pipe or wooden stick, or sometimes forced to stand with his arms over his head in a corner, a punishment his father and stepmother called "reaching for excellence," the boy, who was 12 at the time, testified.

"I was expected to do everything perfectly. I was never given any leeway. I was never given a chance to make a mistake and learn from it," the boy testified, taking long pauses.

The Wayne County Circuit Court hearing, which has run for days, is to determine whether his father, Charles Bothuell IV, 46, and his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, 37, should stand trial on charges of torture and second-degree child abuse.

A conviction on torture carries up to life in prison and second-degree child abuse up to four years.

The boy, who is now 13, said his daily routine rarely wavered from November 2011 until his parents reported him missing in June 2014. Under questioning by Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Carin Goldfarb, the boy said he hit a breaking point last May.

"I basically had gotten so upset and depressed and sad to the point where I had tried to commit suicide," he said, describing cutting his wrist with a knife.

The boy told the court he had no friends, visited his mother every other month and had tried to run away, but police spotted him wandering the neighborhood and took him home.

On one occasion, his father threatened to take him to military school, he said. They made it as far as Ohio before he convinced his father to return home, he said.

Defense attorney Shawn Patrick Smith told reporters after the hearing that the child's testimony seemed coached and "not credible."

"Obviously the reason he's saying anything is he wanted to live with his mom," Smith said.

A widespread search launched on June 14 after his father and step-mother reported him missing came up empty until a Michigan State Police sergeant and an FBI agent found him alive and hungry behind stacked boxes in the basement of his house.

The boy is expected to continue testifying on May 6.