Man locked in dog cage, couple charged with kidnapping

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:18 PM EST
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MONTCALM W.Va. (WVVA) - In a criminal complaint obtained by WVVA, West Virginia State Police say Tricia and Walter Lee kept Gerald Bennett locked inside of a dog cage inside their mobile home on Muncy Lane in Montcalm.

Tricia and Walter Lee
Tricia and Walter Lee(WVVA News)

The complaint says Bennett lived with the couple for about a year. Bennett says the Lee’s began beating him uncontrollably and even used a fan and a propane tank in the attack. The Lee’s are renters and their landlord, Amber Munsey says she never saw Bennett get beaten but does say the couple always kept a close eye on him.

“Gerald, he was very nice, very respectful. But when we spoke to him they were not far behind him. They never left him by himself to speak with anybody,” said Munsey.

The complaint alleges the attack on Bennett was so severe, Tricia took Bennett to Welch Community Hospital. From there he was transferred by air to a hospital in Pikeville, Kentucky. When Bennett was released from the hospital, he told troopers the Lee’s would padlock him inside a dog cage, adding he only received one meal a day.

Tricia and Walter Lee's rented trailer
Tricia and Walter Lee's rented trailer(WVVA News)

Munsey says she did not set foot inside the trailer. “We was never in that house. While they rented we were never in that house. They always made excuses why and most the time it was the dogs. Some of the dogs were in a cage. They were mean dogs,” said Munsey.

Bennett tells police he endured daily beatings, adding Tricia and Walter Lee even forced him to wear adult diapers when he was inside the dog cage. Bennett further claims they would cover the cage with a blanket so he could not see anything. He says the conditions and mistreatment left him too small and too weak to fight back.

The complaint says Bennett was at home with his father recovering from his injuries when he was questioned by police. Both Tricia and Walter Lee are currently being held in Southern Regional Jail without bond. They not only face kidnapping charges but conspiracy and assault charges too.