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Judge orders release of documents in shackled boy case

A San Joaquin County Superior Court judge on Monday decided to release the results of 15 search warrants that were carried out in the case of a teenaged boy who police say was held captive and tortured for more than a year in a Tracy home.

The documents may contain revealing details about the boy, age 16, and his relationship to his alleged captors who have been accused of crimes including false imprisonment, mayhem and child abuse. Specifically, they are accused of kidnapping, starving, torturing and beating the teenager, known in court documents only as John K. Doe.

The case has drawn worldwide attention since the boy stumbled into a Tracy health club in December with a chain padlocked to his ankle. Police say he was malnourished, bruised and filthy. He now is in protective custody.

The four defendants, all of whom appeared briefly in court Monday in Stockton before Judge Cinda Fox, are Michael Luther Schumacher and his wife Kelly Layne Lau, from whose home the boy fled; Anthony Waiters, the couple's neighbor; and Caren Ramirez, with whom the youth previously lived in Citrus Heights.

After huddling with lawyers in the case for more than an hour, Fox ruled that the search warrants should be made public but that names and identifying information of victims and witnesses will be blacked out, along with "other specifics" on which she did not elaborate.

The redactions will help ensure that the defendants get a fair trial while honoring the public's right to know what police found in their searches, she said.

The documents will be released no later than Wednesday morning, said Fox.

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