Sun. May 26th, 2024

2 plead not guilty to allegedly handcuffing Iowa teen to bed and torturing him

Emily Hudson By Emily Hudson May14,2024

ZEARING, Iowa (TCD) — A 44-year-old man and 42-year-old woman pleaded not guilty this week to charges relating to the suspected kidnapping and abuse of an 18-year-old who was brought to the hospital unconscious.

Story County records show Danielle Graham and Gary Graham entered the plea to charges of first-degree kidnapping and willful injury causing serious injury. Danielle Graham’s trial is scheduled to start June 18. Two other suspects in the case, Aaron Williams and Kaitlynn Williams, both pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

According to the Story County Sheriff’s Office, on Jan. 27, deputies responded to a local hospital after Danielle Graham and Aaron Williams brought in the adult male victim, who was showing “signs of severe traumatic injuries and malnutrition.” He was reportedly neither alert nor responsive to stimulus.

Doctors determined the victim sustained severe life-threatening injuries, including a brain bleed and fractured ribs, due to suspected abuse. The victim’s wounds were in various stages of healing. The sheriff’s office said the victim weighed 70 pounds.

Investigators allege Gary Graham, Danielle Graham, Aaron Williams, and Kaitlynn Williams “had knowledge of and participated in the abuse,” which purportedly included handcuffing the victim to a bed and injuring him. The sheriff’s office said the abuse “escalated in early November 2023.”

Deputies arrested all four in March. Danielle Graham, Gary Graham, and Aaron Williams are being held on $1 million bond. Kaitlynn Williams was booked into a juvenile facility because she is 16 years old.

Court documents cited by WHO-TV identified the victim as Danielle Graham’s son. She allegedly claimed the victim left when he turned 18 in November 2023, but she allegedly did not tell anyone her son left the home and thought he could be homeless.

Danielle Graham claimed her son came back home on Jan. 26 and knocked on the door. Aaron Williams, her other son, reportedly answered it and saw the victim was in “a semi-conscious state, having difficulty breathing, and being unable to speak.” She said she and Aaron Williams drove him to the hospital for treatment.

In the affidavit, a detective called Danielle Graham’s timeline “highly suspicious given the severity of the injuries, and the fact that they did not all happen at one time.”

The detective also said there was “no explanation” as to how the victim “would have arrived at his house and knocked on the door when he was unable to stand, walk or talk.”

The affidavit reportedly said, “The victim was attempting to have the school demand he attend school in person without his parents knowing. There were no cold weather injuries to support the mother’s claims that he had been homeless.”

WHO reports detectives uncovered photos and videos that allegedly showed him handcuffed to a bed with his wrists taped. One of the videos was recorded in December 2023 even though Danielle Graham claimed her son left the month prior. Gary Graham and Kaitlynn Williams also allegedly texted Aaron Williams telling him to abuse the victim.

The Associated Press reports detectives argued the suspects were aware they harmed the victim, who was “intentionally subjected to torture.”

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Emily Hudson

By Emily Hudson

Emily is a talented author who has published several bestselling novels in the mystery genre. With a knack for creating gripping plotlines and intriguing characters, Emily's works have captivated readers worldwide.

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2 thoughts on “2 plead not guilty to allegedly handcuffing Iowa teen to bed and torturing him”
  1. It’s horrifying to read about such heinous acts of abuse and torture. These individuals must face the full extent of the law for their despicable behavior towards another human being. Justice must be served!

  2. As a mother myself, it’s absolutely appalling to hear about such horrific acts of abuse towards a vulnerable young person. I hope justice is served swiftly for the victim and that those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

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