Handcuffed teen making strides, building relationship with mom - KCTV5

Handcuffed teen making strides, building relationship with mom

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David and Pamela Martin David and Pamela Martin
LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) -

A teen found handcuffed and starving in his basement is making strides both physically and emotionally, a judge was told Thursday morning.

A custody hearing was held at the Clay County Courthouse. The judge ruled that the 17-year-old boy will remain in foster care for the time being.

The boy loudly said, "Hi Mom," and hugged his mother, Sandy Wilson, as she entered the courtroom.

The boy's mother supports him remaining in foster care, but said she is working to be able to have her son live with her in the future. Wilson said if she had known about the abuse that she would have stepped in sooner.

But the judge and other officials aren't so sure that Wilson was completely oblivious.

"We think she might have been aware of some things that may not have been necessarily appropriate," Clay County juvenile officer Alan Gremli said. "Whether or not she knew he was handcuffed to a pole, we don't know that for sure at this point."

The teen and his mother constantly smiled at each other during the hearing. The teen avoided looking at his father, who is seeking custody.

David Martin, 42, and his wife, Pamela Martin, 41, both have been charged with two felony counts each. The charges are felony restraint and abuse of a child.

David Martin, who remains jailed, appeared in court wearing handcuffs and a navy blue jumpsuit.

Martin said he cannot pay child support and asked to be allowed to be released on his own recognizance rather than pay $50,000 bond. He said he needs to be released from jail so that he can find a job.

The judge did not lower his bond.

The judge did order Martin to start paying $25 a month in child support beginning Aug. 1.

The judge also ruled that the boy will remain in foster care until he turns 18 because the judge said the teen continues to need the care of the court. But the boy is clearly making strides.

The boy told the court that he now weighs 151.2 pounds and has gained 50 pounds since police officers burst into the basement where officers said they found him handcuffed to steel pole.

He hopes to gain another five pounds or so because he hopes to play football next year at Liberty High School where he is now a student. The boy's goal is to become a running back and wrestler, and he said he is working out with weights. He is also taking guitar lessons.

The boy even made his foster family blueberry pancakes before court Thursday morning. A yummy breakfast is a far cry from what he was eating just weeks ago, authorities say.

According to court documents, the boy was thin, cold and wearing dirty clothes. Blankets on the cold floor were his sleeping area. His wrists had scars and abrasions from the handcuffs, authorities said.

The boy told officers that he had been locked in the basement since the end of September. He said he had managed to disassemble a bed he had been handcuffed to in a bid to escape. After that, he said he was handcuffed to the pole. He said he was given just oatmeal, bologna sandwiches and instant noodle soup for food.

According to court documents, the 17-year-old teen was given limited access to the bathroom and only allowed to shower once a month. The boy would often have to go up to 10 hours without access to a bathroom and would soil himself, according to authorities.

The next hearing involving the boy's care will be May 30.

Watch KCTV5 News at 5 p.m. for more on this developing story.

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