The trial of two Longview-area parents accused of abusing their five adopted children got underway in Cowlitz County Monday.
Jeffrey and Rebecca Trebilcock face charges of criminal mistreatment and assault.
Cowlitz County detectives began investigating the family in March 2011, when Rebecca brought the then-13-year-old boy to the doctor. Physicians at Doernbecher Children's Hospital found the boy had several broken ribs and was suffering from severe malnutrition. At the time, the boy weighed 49 pounds and stood 4'4" tall.
Detectives said the boy's four sisters were also underweight and neglected.
The boy, now 14 and at a healthier weight, testified Monday about an atmosphere of abuse at the family's home west of Longview.
He said he ate goat food and dog food, "because I didn't get to eat anything else and I was hungry."
The boy also said the Trebilcocks put up makeshift alarms to keep the kids from taking food.
"The alarm was right in front of the hallway to go into the kitchen, so if you went past that it would go off," he said, adding he was also prevented from leaving his bedroom at night.
The boy said he relieved himself in a cup and was forced to drink his urine when he was caught.
In opening arguments, the Trebilcocks' defense attorney said the children were fed three full meals a day. He also said the children's statements don't match up.
"Over the course of a number of interviews, some of them rather lengthy, did tell a number of different renditions of what happened in the family home during the time they were there," Ted Debray told the judge.
He said the 14-year-old boy was exaggerating conditions of the home. He also blamed the boy's low weight on fetal alcohol syndrome and illness.
The Trebilcocks have four biological children, three of whom were living with their parents when they were arrested. Detectives said they showed no signs of neglect.
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Thursday, July 31 2014 11:57 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:57:19 GMT
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