STOCKTON, Calif. - Three adults who admitted to beating, burning and holding a teenager captive inside a Central California home for more than a year will each spend at least 30 years in prison.
Michael Schumacher, 36, his wife Kelly Lau, 32, and the teen's then-legal guardian Caren Ramirez, 45, were sentenced yesterday in San Joaquin County Superior Court after each pleaded guilty in October to more than a dozen felonies committed against Kyle Ramirez.
Sydney Perry, the boy's aunt, stared down and admonished the tormentors directly during her emotional statement to Judge Terrence Van Oss.
"My family waited two years for this day to face you sadistic, demented monsters who tortured and abused Kyle every day. Every day," Perry said. "And where
you're going, you're going to be with monsters just like you."
Perry was especially harsh toward the victim's former guardian, who brought the then-16-year-old to live in the home of Schumacher and Lau, in Tracy, as the abuse began in late 2007.
"You're an evil and despicable woman," she told Caren Ramirez. "You're trash and you should've been taken out a long time ago. Today is your day to be taken out."
Van Oss then handed down the sentences: 34 years for Ramirez, 33 years for Lau and 30 years for Schumacher. The terms were the maximum allowed under their plea deals.
A fourth defendant, Anthony Waiters, 31, the next-door neighbor of Schumacher and Lau, was convicted at trial last month. He faces life in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 18.
Kyle Ramirez testified during Waiters' trial that he fled the home after hearing Schumacher and Waiters saying they were going to "chop me up and throw me in the delta." He recalled that he escaped by running through a back yard, jumping on a trampoline, hopping a retaining wall and stumbling into a nearby health club.
A recently released video shows the frightened, emaciated teen covered in soot and bruises entering the club hunched and clutching a chain strapped to his ankle, stunning employees who called 9-1-1.
Kyle Ramirez, who's now 18 and has undergone a significant growth spurt since being starved, was surrounded by family and friends in the courtroom yesterday.
He chose not to speak during the sentencing.