Christi Howell, a 40-year-old mom from Kemp, Texas, found herself behind bars last week, busted for torturing her mentally disabled, 13-year-old son using the widely publicized CIA interrogation technique known as “waterboarding,”, according to a police affidavit uncovered by WFAA-TV in Dallas.
Howell’s boyfriend, 45-year-old Casey Shackelford, was also sought by police in connection with the horrifying and bizarre incident. According to police who interviewed the young victim, this was not the first time the pair had physically tormented the boy.
Shackelford was on probation from an assault with a deadly weapon conviction, according to the Dallas Morning News. But he is now back behind bars with that probation revoked due to his alleged involvement in the sickening child-waterboarding incident that took place on January 29, according to the police statements.
— Jennifer Lindgren (@JLindgrenCBS11) February 18, 2016
In previous incidents, according to what the boy told investigators, Howell beat him severely for failing to perform push-up exercises with what she considered to be the proper technique.
“[Howell] would hit him 20 to 30 times in the back, butt, and elbows with a stick” as discipline for his incorrect push-up form, the police affidavit said.
The waterboarding incident began when the boy confessed to Shackelford that he had touched the family’s pet dog in an inappropriate way, the boy told police. According to the police affidavit, as reported by KTVT News in Dallas, the special needs boy said that he had “put his finger inside the family dog’s butt.”
“The victim stated that he wanted to be honest and admit what he had done and that was why he told Casey,” the investigating officer wrote in the affidavit.
Watch KTVT News coverage of the bizarre child-torture case in the video below.
Despite the boy’s confession of the inappropriate behavior, Shackelford was not satisfied. According to the child’s statements, the man grabbed the boy by the hair and held him down while his mother, Christi Howell, poured water onto his face through a towel held by Shackelford.
Police said that Howell later admitted pouring water on the boy as Shackelford held him but said that the waterboarding was her boyfriend’s idea.
But even waterboarding the boy was not enough for Howell and Shackelford, according to the boy’s account. He told police that Shackelford then threw him on a couch and repeatedly slapped him as he demanded a full explanation of the boy’s actions with the dog.
Still not finished, Shackelford ordered Howell to get a “pig rope” and tie it to the boy’s genitals, which the mom actually did.
She then “pulled on the rope as if she was trying to pull him around and off the couch,” according to the police account.
Officers said that photographs taken on the boy’s genital area showed burns and cuts consistent with his account of the torture, which still did not end after Christi Howell tugged on the rope attached to the teen’s private parts.
At Shackelford’s instruction, Howell then tied the rope around the back of the boy’s neck while leaving the other end continuing to bind his genitals. She then shoved him backward, which caused the rope to pull even more tightly on his anatomy.
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While an Associated Press report described the boy as 13-years-old, other news accounts stated only that he was “under 14.” While WFAA noted that the victim was the son of Christi Howell, police did not release the nature of their relationship, only saying that he was a relative of the mom.
Specfics of the boy’s mental disability were also withheld by police.
Christi Howell was arrested on February 9 and held on $250,000 bond, on a second-degree felony charge of injury to a child.
[Image via Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office]