Trial for torture suspects may be set in June
by Jennifer Wadsworth
Apr 28, 2009 | 2969 views | 8 8 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STOCKTON — The arraignment for four people accused of torturing a teenaged boy was delayed today until June.

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

Comments-icon Post a Comment
May 05, 2009
These four people are truly evil. They deserve capital punishment. It's not right that hard earned tax dollars should be used to provide them room and board for the rest of their lives when our child welfare system is so underfunded. The money used to keep these four in prison for the rest of their lives could be better used to help Kyle R. and other children in our foster care system.

I am so amazed and proud of Kyle R. for the strength, courage, and intelligence he had to survive and escape from that deadly situation. He is truly a remarkable boy. He deserves careful, loving and supportive care to help him recover from this ordeal.
April 30, 2009
Bayareamom, Maybe the grand jury trial shed a little light on things...that is why there is not the usual comments from some people.

Doors17 I hope they do not go for a plea bargin for any of these 4 scum bags. All 4, in prison for life!

Kyle we will never forget you,we will always stand behind you. I hope you are doing well and recovering.
April 28, 2009
I think you hit the nail on the head doors17!
April 28, 2009
Does anyone know the reason why Michael Schumacher has yet to enter a plea ?

I'm just guessing, but I wonder if he plans on pleading guilty, and testify against the others to get a lesser sentence.
April 28, 2009
who was running to their defense?
April 28, 2009
What is Schumacher's logic by not pleading, get on with it. Set the trial date so Kyle can get on with his life.

I can't believe two of these people had children of their own and they could treat another person like they did Kyle.

It's just disgusting.

I don't see so many running to their defense any longer, must of found out the truth.
April 28, 2009
Very sickening and disturbing. I hope Kyle is doing better and I hope these sick people get what they deserve. Hopefully life. They all need to live the rest of their lives locked up in a cell thinking about what they did! I just can’t believe four people were involved in this horrible act. Not one of them had remorse or they would have saved him. Goes to show how many sick people there are in this world.
April 28, 2009
Just place all of them in the stockade until the sentencing??? Humiliation is the key to deter crime? Show your face with list of misdeeds will be imprinted on people's minds, but your experience of being stocked up and stared at will also be imprinted on your minds!!!

Sorry, no room for sympathy for these four heartless people! (People? Correction, "subhumans"!) Dark side of Amy speaking! No tolerance for abusers!

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