Burnet Police: Mother severely beaten, locked inside home for a year

BURNET, Texas (KXAN) — A young mother of two held against her will and repeatedly assaulted for as much as a year was freed after police detained three people with whom she was living.

Burnet police arrested Charlotte Elaine Arms, 44, Thomas Allon Simon, 30, and Walker Wayne Shapland, 23, after a 2-month-long investigation.

Arms is suspected of spearheading the assaults and directing Simon and Shapland to severely beat the woman for disobeying Arms, police said.

The woman, in her early 20s, was not allowed to leave the home at 715 North Pierce and was beaten on several occasions for trying to leave, authorities said.

She is now in a shelter with her two kids, who are both under the age of six.

Police started their investigation after the victim’s 29-year-old sister, Rebecca Shaller, was found dead inside the same home. Schaller has bruises, scars, cuts and other injuries all over her body, according to an arrest warrant. Both of her ear lobes had been sliced, a stab wound was found below her left breast, and she also had broken ribs, the document said.

Police Chief Paul Nelson said they were still waiting on the Medical Examiner’s office to determine the official cause of death.

The three were booked on charges of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a family member, both first degree felonies. Other charges included aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury on a family member, a second degree felony.

“I guess it kind of dumbfounded me,” said Joe Pogue, who lives across the street. “I didn’t know anything was going on. All these houses up and down the street, people kind of tend to do their own thing I guess.”

There were eight adults and six children living in the home, the affidavit said. Nelson said their investigation included the possibility that the suspects were fraudulently using federal assistance money coming into the home.

Arms, Simon and Shapland were booked into the Burnet County Jail. Additional charges could be filed at a later date as the investigation continues.

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