A Washington woman was sentenced to over 30 years in prison for the systematic torture of her 13-year-old brother-in-law, the NY Daily News reports.
Police arrested Brandon Gunn, 27, and Viviana Gunn, 34, after the boy was found sleeping on a park bench. The boy's harrowing tale of torture and abuse led police to seek a search warrant of the Gunn's Kitsap County home west of Seattle.
Sheriff's deputies discovered blood stains on a door and walls that were consistent with the boy being whipped with an electric cord and beaten with a bat and metal bar.
The troubled boy moved from Georgia to Washington to live with his brother and his wife in the hope that they would be good role models for him. But within a month the child was being subjected to unspeakable torture at the hands of his brother and sister-in-law.
The boy said the couple used a construction grade staple gun to drive staples into his hands after they caught him stealing food. He said he was deprived of food, stripped naked and forced to sleep inside a portable dog kennel when the couple went out clubbing. The couple would return home to give him sips of water and a sleeping pill.
He was subjected to beatings, burnings and other abuse for hours for minor offenses such as missing chores. The brutality grew worse over the following months. Viviana Gunn is accused of heating a knife with a lighter before using it to cut the child. She callously sprayed alcohol in his open wounds so they would hurt more. Brandon Gunn allegedly used a hammer to pound a nail into the boy's palm.
The couple tied the boy to a chair and bound his mouth with duct tape as they beat him with a bat or metal bar. In between torture sessions, Viviana updated her social networking accounts.
The boy said he managed to escape by biting through the duct tape and forcing a cellar door open.
He lived on the streets of Washington for two weeks, subsisting on whatever he could shoplift. Police found the boy sleeping on a park bench in August. Police noted the scars and open sores on the boy's body. He was taken to a hospital where a doctor removed a piece of metal -- likely a nail -- from his palm.
A search of the couple's home turned up gruesome evidence that supported the boy's story of horrific abuse.
“We heard crying but I assumed it was the younger child off and on over there,” next-door neighbor Janet Ladyman told KIRO TV. “We had no idea that kind of thing was going on over there or we would have done something.”
Brandon Gunn will be sentenced to 30 years when he appears in court on January 17.
Thanks to loyal reader Robyn W. for the tip.