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Sandra Weller (center), accused of locking up and starving her adopted twins, was arraigned on Jan. 12, 2012.  (Photo by Troy Wayrynen)


VANCOUVER, Calif. — An American couple accused of regularly beating, starving and imprisoning their adopted Filipino twins will be tried on March 26.

Sandra and Jeffrey Weller will be tried together, five months following their arrest on Oct. 12 after a Child Protective Services worker alerted Vancouver police.

Officers interviewed the 16-year-old twins, who alleged that for as long as they could remember, the Wellers have locked them in a bedroom without electricity and only fed them once a day, according to court documents.

If they sneaked food, the twins said Jeffrey Weller would beat them with a wooden board, often until they bled.

Sandra, 48, was arraigned only on Jan. 17 after authorities tried to determine whether she was mentally competent to stand trial, reported The Columbian.

She pleaded not guilty to five counts of second-degree assault and two counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Sandra was scheduled to be arraigned in late October along with her 42-year-old husband, but her former defense attorney requested that she be evaluated on whether she was able to assist in her own defense.

After a series of postponements, Weller received a new attorney, Suzan Clark, who dropped the request for a mental evaluation, clearing the way for Weller to be arraigned.

The twins were placed in foster care; while the Wellers’ four biological sons were either placed in protective custody or with another family member.

Trial to be set

A trial to determine the children’s custody will be set and is expected to follow resolution of the defendants’ criminal cases.

Jeffrey is a production specialist at Wafer Tech, while Sandra is a stay-at-home mother.

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