STOCKTON, Calif. — Anthony Waiters, convicted of multiple felonies against a 16-year-old in 2008, could be free to walk out of prison later this month.
That's because the former Tracy youth football coach and mentor went before a parole board in March and was granted his release.
"Routinely tortured with knives, a baseball bat, corrosive substances and frequently beat this child," said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar at a news conference in downtown Stockton Tuesday.
It was August 2007 when the 16-year old boy, known as Kyle, was abducted by a family in Sacramento County and taken to a home in Tracy. He was not enrolled in school and was not allowed to leave the home.
The district attorney says Waiters lived next door and joined three others in brutally beating and terrorizing the teen for a year.
Salazar also said the teen initially slept on a couch in the living room where the fireplace was located, but was eventually shackled by chain and forced to sleep on the brick hearth.
After a year of enduring physical and emotional injuries, Kyle was able to slip through shackles to escape to a nearby In-Shape Fitness Club in Tracy and finally stop the torture at the hands of Waiters and the three others.
"He could of been a hero and called 911. Instead, he participated and escalated the amount of cruelty and torture and abuse this child received," said Salazar.
Surprisingly, in March, after serving only 11 years of a life term, Waiters was eligible for parole and was granted it. Salazar then reached out to Governor Gavin Newsom pleading with him to have the parole board take another look.
It will do so next Tuesday at what is called an En Banc hearing with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Executive Board.
Even Kyle himself wrote a letter to the governor and the parole board saying in part "how are we content with letting individuals like Waiters, who have been convicted of such heinous acts against innocent children, walk."
"This type of insidious, heinous brutality can not, should not be tolerated," said Deputy District Attorney Angela Hayes who prosecuted Waiters in 2008.
"I speak on behalf of our community, community of Tracy and I say vehemently I oppose the release of inmate waiters," said Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington.
The district attorney said despite what he went through Kyle is doing remarkably well.
Waiters' hearing is next Tuesday at 9 a.m. He could be released as early as Aug. 19.
Anyone can attend the hearing online or submit a written letter for consideration. Interested persons can connect to the hearing via an online portal or in person at 1515 K Street, Suite 550 in Sacramento. You can also submit written statements to BPHEXE.BRDMEETING@cdcr.ca.gov.
The full summary of events from the district attorney, letter to the Office of Gov. Newsom and the parole team are available in the PDF below.