December 18, 2011

Couple Jailed After Horsewhipping, Starving And Caging Teen Over A Two Year Period

Lowell, Indiana (The Weekly Vice) - Tina Louise Graham, 40, and her fiance Vernon Widner, 55, have been charged with repeatedly beating, starving and locking Graham's teenage son in a dog cage over a two year period.

According to police, an investigation was launched last March after Graham's 14-year-old son was forced to tell authorities about the abuse he suffered when repeated attempts to run away from home were unsuccessful.

The completion of a lengthy investigation has resulted in 16 felony charges that detail the horrific abuse the young man suffered.

In at least once instance, the couple allegedly stripped the boy naked and threatened to cut off his genitals. The couple also allegedly put a loaded gun to the teen's head and limited him to one meal a day.

Sometime between August and November 2010, Graham and the boy's older sister allegedly held the victim down while he was beaten with a horsewhip. He was allegedly forced to sleep overnight in a dog cage between October, 2010 and January 2011.

The boy told police that he attempted to run away after the couple withdrew him from school and refused to home school him. He stated that having no time away from the abusive home was too much.

Witnesses have come forward, stating that they contacted social service about the alleged abuse at least six times over the past two years to no avail. The boy was finally removed from the couple's home in March.

The couple was jailed on 16 felony counts of child abuse that include criminal confinement, negligence of a dependent and strangulation.

Graham was released from jail on a $5,000 bond, while Widner remains locked up on a $70,000 bond.

Danny Vice
The Weekly Vice

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