The couple remained calm while the verdict was read but became more emotional as the jury filed out of the courtroom. They embraced as they stood to see the jury out.
“I didn’t do it. I was framed. I will appeal this,” Jeffrey Weller cried out as he was taken away in handcuffs.
Suzan Clark, Sandra Weller’s attorney, said her client also would appeal.
Earlier in the trial, Richardson said that if convicted of all charges, Jeffrey Weller could face up to 65 years in prison, but he said that amount was unlikely. The maximum sentence for Sandra Weller would be less, he said.
Tim Graf, biological father of Sandra Weller’s 11-year-old son, said he was relieved by the verdict.
“It’s exactly what it should have been,” he said. “I’m feeling elation and deep sorrow.”
Graf is Sandra Weller’s ex-husband, and he adopted the twins with her when they were still married. Sandra Weller got custody of all three children from the marriage. Graf received custody of the 11-year-old after he and the other five children were removed from the Weller home on Oct. 7, 2011.
He said his son has thrived since leaving the Weller home. He said his son was two years behind in school when he came to live with Graf, and now he has caught up.
He said he, his wife, son and the twins would spend the weekend together to celebrate. The twins now live in separate foster homes in different parts of Washington.
The 12-member jury began deliberating at 9 a.m. Friday, and the verdict was returned just before 4 p.m.
The jury didn’t explain why they returned not-guilty verdicts on two of the counts. They declined to comment as they left the courthouse.
The twins and their adoptive siblings said the Wellers fed the twins only once a day with moldy food or bowls of canned vegetables served with shortening and were ordered to eat it while standing up. Meanwhile, the other four children were fed hot prepared meals at the dining room table.
If the twins refused to eat what they were given, they were punished. For instance, the twin girl said she was forced to hold a spoonful of hot spices in her mouth and then swallow them without anything to wash it down.
All of the cabinets and the refrigerator 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 piece of lumber until they bled, they said. On rarer occasions, Sandra Weller whipped the twin girl with a cable-style bicycle lock normally used to secure the refrigerator, the twins said.
Outside of the daily meal, chores and schoolwork, the twins were expected to remain in their room, they said. The Wellers monitored the twins’ movement with an alarm over the door and over the staircase between the bedrooms and kitchen, and a lock on their window, they said.
The twin girl soiled the carpet in her bedroom because she was unable to leave, her twin brother said.
The Wellers testified that they never beat the children and that soiling the floor and hoarding food were part of the twins’ behavioral problems.