Texas

Couple held 70-year-old woman in a dog kennel and stole her disability money, Texas cops say

Leonnia Darlene Castillo, 47, left, and Tommy Lee Anderson, 49, are accused of keeping a 70--year-old woman in a dog kennel, abusing her and stealing her disability money
Leonnia Darlene Castillo, 47, left, and Tommy Lee Anderson, 49, are accused of keeping a 70--year-old woman in a dog kennel, abusing her and stealing her disability money

The string of alleged abuse reads like a torture scene in a prisoner-of-war movie.

Police in the tiny East Texas town of Malakoff, about 78 miles southeast of Dallas, say that one couple there put a 70-year-old woman through all of it, over the course of eight months.

The victim, who is a relative of 47-year-old Leonnia Darlene Anderson Castillo, had been living with her and Tommy Anderson, 49, since January, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by McClatchy.

Over the course of the last eight months, the woman told police, Anderson and Castillo periodically locked her inside a dog kennel, threw glass bottles at her and stripped her down to her underwear before forcing her walk on the glass shards, according to the affidavit. The allegations were first reported by KLTV.

She said that Anderson “coerced” her into buying the dog kennel, then forced her to stay outside in the heat until she vomited. When she did, the affidavit states, her punishment was getting locked inside.

While she was trapped inside the kennel, the couple didn’t buy her any food, she said. Instead, according to the affidavit, the victim accused the couple of keeping her debit card from her, and using it to withdraw money from her bank account when her disability payments came in.

Over the course of the eight months she lived with the couple, the woman also accused Castillo of trying to drown her in a bathtub in Anderson’s home.

When other family members tried to intervene and come get the woman from the house on Wesley Street, “Castillo wouldn’t let it happen,” the affidavit states.

Last week, though, two family members from the Dallas area succeeded, according to the affidavit. They took the victim to Mesquite to live with other family on Wednesday, it states.

Police interviewed the victim the same day, where police officers noted “a bruised left eye, and apparent hand print on her left arm, numerous red circular sores on her back and cuts on her feet,” according to the affidavit.

Arrest warrants for Castillo and Anderson were issued on Friday, and the couple was booked into jail on Saturday. Castillo has been charged with injury to the elderly, with a $50,000 bond, while Anderson is charged with unlawful restraint, with a $15,000 bond, according to jail records.

Anderson bonded out of jail on Monday, and Castillo was bonded out Tuesday, according to Jennifer Carmon, clerk for the Henderson County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5. Malakoff Police Chief Floyd Thomas would not comment on the case any further Tuesday, telling McClatchy that the investigation was still ongoing.

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