HOUSTON - A Houston man has been charged with two counts of injury to the elderly after several men told police they were held against their will and forced to stay in a converted garage without a bathroom.
Walter Jones, 31, appeared in front of a magistrate judge Saturday, where a prosecutor outlined the charges against him.
The two charges stem from allegations made by a single victim who told investigators he was lured to the home years ago with promises of food and shelter and then locked into the garage.
"In order to use the bathroom, he was escorted by someone or he had to use a bucket in that room," the prosecutor told the judge.
Jones was taken into custody Friday after Houston police responded to a welfare check at a home on Whitecastle Lane.
Police said there were four men in the home and three of them were so malnourished they required medical attention. A fourth declined medical treatment and police said he may have been allowed to come and go.
According to the probable cause complaint read in court, the victim told investigators Jones forced him to sign over his social security checks. He also told them he had been physically abused.
"On one occasion, he used his own walking cane to beat him into unconsciousness. When he awoke up, part of his finger was gone," said the prosecutor.
At this point, Jones has has only been charged with two counts of injury to the elderly but the prosecutor told the judge more charges could be filed against Jones in the future.
The magistrate judge set bail at $200,000 on each charge.
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