Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A 15-year-old boy said his mother and a friend of hers beat him, tied him up and even set him on fire over a 4-year period simply because they thought he was "stealing" food from her family's kitchen.

LaRhonda McCall and Steve Vern Hamilton have been charged with felony child abuse and have pleaded not guilty. A judge held a hearing Wednesday to determine whether they should face trial.

In his unemotional testimony, the boy said he has gained 42 pounds since escaping from the home back on Sept. 25. The teen testified he was beaten four times a week since he was 11-years-old with extension cords, pots, and hands and was bound and locked in a closet for days. The boy also said he was forced to stand on ice naked while he was tied up in the garage.

He and six other minors from the home are now in foster care.

"He's a good kid, so it's difficult with her being my sister, and I love my sister a great deal, hearing this and being able to gage a reaction from it, I just, I really need to hear more before I can really garner an opinion," said the victim's uncle Darryl McCall. "I just can't, you know, at this point hearing what I've heard thus far, it's stunning."

A detective testified LaRhonda McCall withheld food as punishment.

At times during the hearing, LaRhonda McCall shook her head in disagreement.