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Accused child abuser: 'I just hit him once'

Accused child abuser: 'I just hit him once'

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A Vancouver couple told jurors Thursday that they never beat their adopted twins with a wooden board.

Jeffrey Weller admitted that he had hit his son once as discipline, but did nothing more.

“I just hit him once,” he said. “It was just a tap. It wasn’t a ‘come back and try to blister the kid.’”

He denied ever following orders from his wife, Sandra Weller, to beat their children.

The Wellers were the defense’s only witnesses. They are charged with imprisoning, starving and beating their adopted teenage twins.  Following their testimony, attorneys presented their closing arguments late in the afternoon.

Jurors will return to court on Friday morning to begin deliberations.

Before Jeffrey Weller’s testimony, Sandra Weller took the stand and also denied having any involvement in assaulting her children.

Did she ever strike any of her children or see her husband strike them?

“I saw him use a belt one time,” Sandra Weller said, referring to the couple’s discipline methods.

Other than that, Sandra Weller said she never hit her children, explaining she has post-traumatic stress disorder.

Earlier in the day, the Wellers’ 15-year-old biological son told a much different story.

He said that he snuck food for his adopted twin siblings, so they wouldn’t starve. He also described what happened if the Wellers caught the kids taking food from one of the locked kitchen cabinets.

The teen cited one night when he overhead a beating in the kitchen.

“One night I heard smacking and screaming,” he testified. “So I went halfway down the stairs and looked over the balcony and I saw Jeff hitting (one of the twins) with a board.”

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