Michael Schumacher, Kelly Lau and Carén Ramirez admitted to cutting, burning, beating, starving, drugging, imprisoning and threatening a teenager, named in court papers as Kyle R., over an extended period inside a house on Tennis Lane.
A fourth person accused of the crimes, neighbor Anthony Waiters, did not make a plea deal with prosecutors.
While prosecutors in the case withdrew the charge of torture as part of the deals for Schumacher, Lau and Ramirez — a charge that could have landed the accused life in prison — they added and amended several charges. Included in those were making criminal threats, assault with caustic chemicals, use of a deadly weapon and several counts of causing great bodily injury to a child.
The end result will be 30 years in prison for Schumacher, 33 for Lau and 34 for Ramirez if they maintain their guilty pleas until the Dec. 6 sentencing, which will take place at 8:30 a.m. in Department 32.
Lau and Schumacher, in addition to the charges for abusing Kyle, were charged with one felony and three misdemeanor counts of child abuse stemming from their own children. Ramirez faced and admitted to a charge that she kidnapped Kyle, a charge the others in the case did not face.
While Schumacher, Lau and Ramirez return to jail to await their final sentences, the saga of what Van Oss has called “One of the weirdest cases I’ve ever seen,” continues.
Waiters has not agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors, and San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Angela Hayes said that her office is prepared to go the distance.
“We’re ready to go,” she said. “We’re prepared to go to jury trial.”
Jury selection for Waiters’ trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday, Oct. 12, and Hayes said opening statements should be given in about two weeks.
Hayes said the plea deals by Schumacher, Lau and Ramirez will make the trial much more simple.
She said the deals were beneficial because they prevent Schumacher and Lau’s children from having to take the stand and because a trial with four defendants would have been significantly more complicated.
While Hayes didn’t elaborate further because of a gag order on the case, she did say that Kyle was ready to testify against Waiters once the trial gets under way. Except for giving grand jury testimony, Kyle has been kept out of the public eye since his dramatic escape from his captors in December 2008, when he vaulted a backyard fence and appeared in a Tracy Boulevard health club with a shackle still around his ankle.