CUDAHY -- A jury trial began Tuesday, July 23 in a disturbing child abuse case out of Cudahy. Kevin Boon-Bey, 47, and his now-estranged wife Felicia Boon, 35, were each charged with six felonies -- accused of imprisoning and neglecting his teenage daughter.
According to prosecutors, they starved and tortured the 15-year-old girl while treating the other six children in the house normally. The defense argued it was, in fact, those other children who were behind the apparent child abuse.
After 1 1/2 days of questioning, the prosecution and defense agreed on 14 jurors.
During opening statements, Matthew Torbenson, prosecutor, said police were called to the now-estranged couple's Cudahy home in December.
"You're going to hear about a smell of feces and urine that emanated from that second floor door," said Torbenson.
Torbenson said officers discovered Boon-Bey's 15-year-old daughter locked in an upstairs room with zip ties, and without food. He said she was beaten by the couple's other children under the instruction of the defendants.
"She was treated like anything but a human being, but she is a human being. She's going to take the stand and tell you what she suffered at the hands of these defendants and the children," said Torbenson.
Boon-Bey, who chose to represent himself, kept his message to jurors short.
"My goal is to show and to prove to you that all we had was a normal home with our biological children and other children we brought into the home," said Boon-Bey.
Boon's attorney said medical tests showed the victim wasn't malnourished, and the physical wounds found on her body stemmed from a single argument between the victim and another teenage girl living in the home.
"Mrs. Boon did not know about what was happening between her and [other sibling], did not condone what was happening between her and [other sibling]," said William Sulton, Boon's attorney.
Kevin Boon-Bey and Felicia Boon each face the following charges:
- Physical abuse of a child, repeated acts causing bodily harm, as party to a crime
- Causing mental harm to a child, as party to a crime
- Chronic neglect of a child, consequence is bodily harm, as party to a crime -- two counts
- Chronic neglect of a child, consequence is bodily harm
- False imprisonment, as party to a crime
The first witnesses for the prosecution were set to take the stand Wednesday.