Grandparents arrested for imprisonment

South Kitsap grandparents accused of keeping two young children hog-tied in their home while feeding them only graham crackers and ice cubes appeared in a Kitsap County Superior Court room packed with media and other onlookers on Monday afternoon.

Larry Lee Mann, 66, and Judith Kay Mann, 61, are being held in Kitsap County Jail after they were booked last weekend for unlawful imprisonment and third-degree assault. The pair is expected to be formally charged today.

Calling their alleged crimes “fairly amazing” and cruel, Deputy Prosecutor Chris Casad asked that the defendants’ bails be kept at $100,000 each.

Judge Sally Olsen agreed.

The Manns were arrested on Saturday after one of the children allegedly held captive in their mobile home on Bethel-Burley Road was found disheveled and barefoot on the street shortly before 4:30 a.m. on Saturday after a neighbor called police to report a boy walking outside in his pajamas.

According to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy responded and picked up the dirty, tired and malnourished 10-year-old, who told the officer he had just “escaped” from his grandparents’ house.

The boy, who was covered in bruises and still had a plastic “zip-tie” on his ankle and ligature marks on his wrists, said he had been hog-tied — his wrists and ankles tied together — in the home for the past several days.

He said he was able to escape by wrestling free of the ties and climbing out a window, but that his sister was still inside.

Once free from the home, the boy said he was so thirsty he stopped to drink from a nearby creek before heading out to the road.

While medical units treated the the boy, three more units responded to the Manns’ home, located approximately two and a half miles south of where the child was found. There deputies found an 8-year-old girl similarly hog-tied and lying on a mattress, and an 11-year-old boy who was unrestrained.

While all the children appeared thin and underfed, only the girl and the 10-year-old boy said they had been tied-up.

They said it was “punishment” that had gone on for several days, during which they were fed only graham crackers and ice cube chips, and only untied briefly to use the toilet and then quickly tied-up again.

Before transporting the children to Harrison Memorial Hospital in Bremerton, deputies fed the children breakfast. All three were later turned over to Child Protective Services.

Outside the courtroom Monday, South Kitsap resident James Vance, who claimed to be the 11-year-old’s father, said his mother and stepfather were being “convicted already” and the media were “twisting the events.”

Vance said he did not believe the children were tied up, and that they “were probably lying.”

“I think those kids are darn lucky to be with my folks,” he said, describing the Manns as longtime South Kitsap residents who were “good people” and churchgoing Christians. “They’ve done more for those kids than they would have gotten anywhere else.”

Vance said he lived “just down the road” and had just seen his son the day before. He said the boy did not tell him that anything bad was going on in the Manns’ home. He said the Manns had custody of the children because “the courts wanted them to stay together, and I couldn’t have all three with me.”

He added the mother of the children did not have custody because of past drug problems and arrests.

Sheriff Steve Boyer described the incidents as unusual and “very disturbing for the deputies” involved in the case. Boyer said he knew of no previous incidents being reported at the Manns’ home.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said none of the children attended local schools, and all were homeschooled.

Wilson said his office is still investigating the case, including whether there were other allegations of physical abuse involving the Manns or children in their care.

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