DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — The case against a Detroit couple accused of torturing their teen son continued in court Monday as a police lieutenant took the stand.
Lt. Kenneth Gardner was called in to investigate when 13-year-old Charlie Bothuell was reported missing in June 2104. Garnder said that he first met with Bothuell’s parents at Detroit Police Headquarters that summer.
Gardner said in court on Monday that Charles Bothuell IV and Monique Dillard-Bothuell — father and stepmother of Charlie Bothuell — agreed to allow him to search their cell phones during the investigation.
Charlie Bothuell was eventually found hiding in the basement of his home after 11 days. A judge will soon decide if there’s enough evidence to send the couple to trial.
Charlie Bothuell testified in May, saying that he was sent to the basement by his stepmother as punishment and that he never called for help, although police and others had been in the home during a search.
Charlie has described his home as a “terrible place” and said he was beaten with a plastic pipe by his father, removed from school, isolated from other kids and forced to perform daily rigorous exercises. He described a punishment he called “reaching for excellence” in which he was forced to stand with his arms up for an extended period of time. He said it was painful, but if he complained he was “told to shut up,” and then he’d get a whooping if he did not stop talking.
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