A man convicted of brutally torturing a teenager for a year will be paroled from prison unless prosecutors and the local police department have their way.
Anthony Vincent Waiters was convicted in 2011 for the torture of a 16-year-old teenager named Kyle. Waiters was sentenced to life behind bars, but only 11 years later, a parole board voted to set him free.
On December 1, 2008, the victim was able to free himself from his restraints at the home in Tracy, California, a city 60 miles east of San Francisco. He was able to wander into a nearby business and beg people for help while dragging a chain that was around his ankle. He was emaciated from starvation, dirty, and showed numerous signs of torture.
The victim had been shackled to a fireplace in the home of Michael Schumacher and his wife Kelly Lau. His legal guardian, Caren Ramirez, and the Schumachers’ neighbor, Waiters, also participated in the heinous torture of the victim.
Kyle said that he had been frequently beaten, burnt and cut by the four people. In one incident, he testified that Waiters had cut into his forearm with a steak knife while Ramirez held him down, and then they poured bleach, salt, and butter in the wound. In another incident, Waiters punched the victim’s body while wearing boxing gloves while the victim was chained to the fireplace.
In December 2010, Ramirez was sentenced to 34 years in prison, Schumacher to 30 years, and Lau to 33 years as a part of plea deal.
In March, the parole board said Waiters should be granted parole.
District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar issued a statement vehemently objecting to the release of Waiters.
“Releasing Anthony Waiters on parole is an act of injustice to the victim, our community, and it would also pose a risk to public safety,” said Salazar. “Anthony Waiters took an active part in the torture of a defenseless teenager. This is not a case to grant parole.”
Assistant District Attorney Angela Hayes, the prosecutor in the case, also objected.
“The fact that Anthony Waiters is even being considered for parole is a farce of justice. There is an urgent need to ensure that the punishment is proportionate to the crime,” said Hayes. “Kyle faced terrible circumstances and still bears the physical and emotional scars that [Waiters] left on him. The systems in place to protect and keep children in safe houses once failed Kyle. Granting Anthony Waiters parole would only [fail Kyle] again.”
The Tracy Police Department also thanked community members who spoke out against the parole board releasing Waiters.
“We remain hopeful that Waiters will continue to receive room and board in state prison, not in our community,” said the department in a statement.
The Board of Parole is reconsidering the decision in a “rescission hearing.”