Local News

Woman says she was held, tortured for days

Posted July 15, 2010 9:22 a.m. EDT
Updated July 15, 2010 6:16 p.m. EDT

— The on-again, off-again boyfriend of a Wayne County woman bound her with telephone wire and locked her in a closet for several days before she was able to escape, authorities said Thursday.

Wayne County sheriff's Capt. Tom Effler said the 24-year-old woman was trapped inside the home of Earl Travis Deans Jr. and tortured, leaving her covered in burns and bruises.

"She had been beat. She had been burned with a curling iron, and also, the suspect had cut all her hair off," Effler said. "So, she went through a tough time for about three days."

Authorities said she was being treated at Wayne Memorial Hospital Wednesday, but her condition was unclear Thursday evening.

Deans, 34, of 409 Little Dove Road in Pikeville, faces a number of charges, including one count each of second-degree kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and assault on a female.

He was in the Wayne County jail in Goldsboro Thursday evening under a $103,000 bond.

Investigators said the woman and Deans had gotten into a domestic dispute on Sunday and that he tied her with a telephone cord whenever he left home and stuck her in a bedroom closet.

Sheriff's deputies found her Wednesday morning while responding to a call about an injured woman at a neighbor's house.

"(Deans) left that morning. She was able to get loose from her binds and she exited the house," Effler said.

Deans' criminal record, which dates to 1997, includes a conviction for assault on a female and simple assault, according to state Department of Correction records.

He served three months' jail time for a 2008 conviction for resisting an officer and violations of his probation for assault on a female and larceny in 2007.

Following his arrest Wednesday, authorities also arrested Deans on outstanding charges of five counts of failure to appear in court and two counts of failure to pay child support.