Content note: This post has graphic content, which may be distressing for some readers.
Christi Howell, 40, and her boyfriend Casey Shackleford, 45, say they were ‘punishing’ the teen, who is mentally disabled, for inappropriately touching the family dog.
According to charges made by Kaufman County investigators, Howell poured water over the boy’s mouth and nose as Shackleford held a towel across his face.
The boy’s only form of relief from the sensation of drowning was moving his head to the side.
Watch a news clip about the incident below (post continues after video).
According to the affidavit, Shackleford, when approaching the boy about his handling of the family pet, would slap the teen across the face whenever he broke eye contact. Shackleford then ordered Howell to retrieve “pig rope” so they could tie the boy’s testicles.
The boy’s mother “pulled on the rope as if she was trying to pull him around and off the couch,” a warrant states. The pair then tied the rope around the boy’s neck while it was still connected to his genitals for up to ten minutes, causing the teen to suffer severe cuts and burns.
This was not the first incident of abuse carried out by Ms Howell. Police reports also state she “would hit him 20 to 30 times in the back, butt, and elbows with a stick,” when he failed to do push ups correctly.
His mother was arrested last week with her bail set to $250,000. She is currently being held in the Kaufman County Jail on a charge of injury to a child.
Shackleford turned himself in on Wednesday evening, and is in custody at the same prison complex. He was convicted last year of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and has consequently had his probation for that charge revoked because of the new allegations.
The child is now in foster care, according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.