Vancouver couple guilty of assault, unlawful imprisonment - KPTV - FOX 12

Jury finds Vancouver couple guilty in child abuse case

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Jeffrey and Sandra Weller Jeffrey and Sandra Weller
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

A Vancouver couple accused of starving and beating their adopted children have been found guilty on charges including assault and unlawful imprisonment.

The jury reached a verdict Friday, just one day after Sandra and Jeffrey Weller testified in their own defense prior to closing arguments.

The couple held hands and cried as the verdicts were read. They were then each placed in handcuffs.

"We were framed," Jeffrey Weller said as he was led away from the courtroom. "I didn't do it and I will appeal this."

Jeffrey Weller is guilty of multiple counts of assault, assault of a child and unlawful imprisonment. Sandra Weller is guilty of assault and unlawful imprisonment.

The jury found each of them not guilty on one count of unlawful imprisonment.

Police arrested the couple in the fall of 2011 after their then 16-year-old adopted twins said they were locked in a room with no electricity and beaten when they tried to take food.

Police said the twins were only fed small amounts of food and sometimes it was rotten. The Wellers had six children in all.

On the stand Thursday, Sandra Weller denied those claims. Jeffrey Weller also denied beating the twins with a wooden board or stick, even after all the children testified the twins were forced to lay on the kitchen floor with their pants down before getting hit, often more than 100 times.

Sandra Weller said the stick in question was used to support their shed, but the kids always played with it.

As she was led away in handcuffs Friday, Sandra Weller said their exes had conned the kids.

Tim Graf had originally adopted the twins with Sandra Weller many years ago. He said he has fought for custody for years and he is relieved with the jury's verdict.

"I'm pinching myself. I'm sure I'm going to break down and cry," he said. "She's had her way in family court for the better part of nine years. And finally justice. Finally she's been caught."

Graf said the twins, now 17, are in a good home and getting counseling. He said he doesn't plan to seek custody.

The trial got under way Monday. Sentencing is set for March 12.

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