Husband and wife Michael Schumacher, 34; Kelly Layne Lau, 30; their neighbor 29-year-old Anthony Waiters and the boy’s one-time legal guardian Carén Ramirez, 43, appeared in court this morning. A judge postponed criminal proceedings until June 18.
The four stand accused of torturing a 16-year-old group home runaway and imprisoning him in a Tracy home until he escaped on Dec. 2.
Schumacher has yet to enter a plea, but he’s expected to in June, when a trial date could also be set. The other three pleaded not guilty last month.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Angela Hayes took the case to a criminal grand jury instead of an open court. A grand jury last month indicted the four suspects on 17 counts of aggravated mayhem, corporal injury to a child, criminal threats, torture, child abuse, kidnapping and assault with a caustic chemical.
Transcripts from the grand jury hearing are still sealed and remain secret for 10 days after each defense attorney gets a copy. Only Lau’s private attorney hasn’t received a copy. He’s tied up with a murder case in Southern California and has missed two hearings, including today’s.
The teen is in protective custody in Sacramento County, where his older brother lives.
Called Kyle R. in court records, the boy fled the Schumacher-Lau’s Tennis Lane home five months ago. He scaled the backyard wall with a chain shackled to his ankle. He stumbled into a nearby health club, where police took him back to Child Protective Services.
Search warrants say the four accused assaulted the boy with belts, baseball bats and caustic chemicals. They say the two men and two women force-fed the boy drugs and liquor and starved him to keep him docile.
• Contact Tracy Press reporter Jennifer Wadsworth at 830-4225 or email@example.com.