Trial begins for woman accused of abusing, locking young stepson in closet

HOUSTON – The mother's oldest biological son was called to the stand Tuesday to tell a jury that he found his stepbrother inside a hidden closet door foaming at the mouth and nearly starving. He also said his mother would try to convince him that everything they were doing was OK.

The state called its first witness, now 21-year-old Cody Frank, who said he was just a teen when he found out that his mother and stepfather were keeping his stepbrother, Jordan Bleimeyer in a small closet under the stairs.

His mother, 38-year-old Tami Bleimeyer, is charged with injury to a child and endangering a child after investigators found her then 5-year-old stepson emaciated and hurt in 2014. Tami's biological son, Cody Frank, said at the beginning, the parents treated Jordan the same as everyone else but then said Jordan started disappearing.

When Frank asked what happened, he said his parents would tell him it was none of his business or that Jordan was in a timeout. Frank's chilling account included pictures of that small crawl space, which he said was a small hidden door inside the main closet, inside, he says, were nails, exposed sockets and wiring and what he claims were pieces of firecracker paper.

Frank described his mother as "in control" and Jordan’s father as physically abusive. At one point he says Jordan was never at the dinner table because he was always in trouble -- sometimes allowed to eat a piece of bread. 

Frank said he also heard sounds of tazing and Jordan screaming to his dad to stop.  Jordan’s father, Bradley Bleimeyer, was convicted in 2016 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Frank's sister, 19-year-old Allison Frank also testified. Allison echoed many of the same situations that Cody had shared with the jury, saying no one was allowed to talk to Jordan or give him food, though the siblings would try to sneak him food. 

Allison also testified that her mother was the decision maker and the leader of the family, calling her "manipulative" and often "playing the victim" in order to get her way.

Allison also mentioned that when Cody opened the closet door after a fight, Allison picked him up and said that it seemed he hadn't showered in days, he was "skin and bone" and frightened. 

She said Bradley and Tami dyed Jordan's hair red and made him wear dresses. She said her parents were amused.

The defense challenged the credibility of the witness and claimed that the father is at fault, saying the parents had an agreement that they would discipline their own children. They also questioned their memory with inconsistent testimonies. 

The defense challenged the credibility of the witness and claimed that the father is at fault. Tami Bleimeyer's fate is in the hands of a jury. The defense is currently in cross-examining with the witness.