That light appeared on Oct. 7, 2011, when Child Protective Services removed him, his twin sister, and four other siblings from the Weller house.
In the trial, the twins and their adoptive siblings described that “lonely hell” in graphic detail. The twins, their adoptive brother, and another sibling all wrote victim impact statements to the judge, as did the couple’s ex-spouses.
The Wellers fed the twins only once a day with moldy food or bowls of canned vegetables served with shortening. The twins 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, stealing their parents’ keys and smuggling food through a hole they cut between their bedrooms, they said.
Judge Johnson said she found that an exceptional sentence was appropriate. Jeffrey Weller received an extra year in prison because he was convicted of also assaulting his biological son and Sandra Weller’s biological son.
Johnson said the trial was “one of the most difficult” she had heard since she became a judge in 1987. Juror Deanna Imri, who attended the sentencing, echoed that sentiment.
“That was the roughest thing we’ve ever gone through,” Imri said.
The couple claim they were framed. They plan to appeal their convictions, their attorneys have said.
The male twin said he now lives with a foster family in Carson, where he eats ice cream every night. His twin sister lives in Olympia, and they are able to visit each other occasionally.
“I’m glad it’s over,” he said
Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts; http://facebook.com/ColTrends; firstname.lastname@example.org.