Child abuse trial in Vancouver goes to jury

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The trial of a Vancouver, Wash., couple accused of abusing adopted twins is in the hands of a jury after both the man and woman took the stand to deny beating the children.

Clark County prosecutors say Jeffrey and Sandra Weller imprisoned, beat and starved the boy and girl in 2011 before they were removed from the home. Jeffrey Weller also is charged with physically abusing three biological children.

KATU-TV reported that Jeffrey Weller acknowledged hitting the boy once as discipline. The station said Sandra Weller testified Thursday that she saw her husband “use a belt one time” but she said she never hit the children.

The now-17-year-old twins both testified. The girl said they were fed moldy food and she was beaten with a cable-style bicycle lock.

Dr. Kim Copeland testified the girl has scars on her back and the boy had a broken bone that was never set after he said he was beaten with a board.

Copeland said both teens were malnourished but have since gained weight.

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