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Vancouver, Wash., couple convicted in adopted twins abuse case

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Associated Press
Published:
VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A couple accused of abusing adopted twins were convicted Friday of starving, beating and imprisoning the boy and girl.
Clark County Superior Court jurors convicted Jeffrey and Sandra Weller on multiple counts including second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful imprisonment and third-degree assault causing bodily harm, The Columbian reported.
Jeffrey Weller was also convicted of choking the twin girl and assaulting his biological son and Sandra Weller's biological son.
The couple testified Thursday in their own defense, denying the charges.
"I didn't do it. I was framed. I will appeal this," Jeffrey Weller declared Friday as he was taken away in handcuffs. Sandra Weller's lawyer said her client would appeal as well.
Sentencing was set for March 12.
The Columbian says the six children in the family were removed from the home in 2011.
Five of the six children testified during the five-day trial, including the twins, now 17. The twin girl said she was beaten with a cable-style bicycle lock.
A doctor testified the girl has scars on her back and the twin boy had a broken bone that was never set after he said he was beaten with a board.
The twins and their adoptive siblings testified that the Wellers fed the twins only once a day with moldy food or bowls of canned vegetables served with shortening. The other four children were fed hot prepared meals at the dining room table, testimony showed.
The refrigerator and cabinets were locked, the children said. The six children worked together to access food in the cabinets for the twins to eat by unscrewing cabinet hinges, swiping their parents' keys and smuggling food through a hole they cut between their bedrooms, they said.
When the Wellers found out, the twins were beaten with a scrap of lumber until they bled, the twins said.
Jurors were told that outside of the daily meal, chores and schoolwork, the twins were expected to remain in their room, which was monitored by an alarm over the door.
The twins now live in separate foster homes in different parts of Washington.
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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

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