BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County judge on Thursday set a trial date for a Spring Hill couple accused of imprisoning a 17-year-old boy in a bathroom for months.
Circuit Judge Jack Springstead ruled that the highly anticipated trials for the boy's adoptive mother, Tai-Ling Gigliotti, and her fiance, Anton Angelo, would start at 9 a.m. Feb. 8. A pretrial hearing was set for Feb. 4.
Gigliotti, 51, and Angelo, 46, face charges of aggravated child abuse in the case involving the teen.
Authorities say Gigliotti beat the boy with a piece of wood and a plastic-tipped hose, then locked him in a bathroom naked and bloodied. When the teen escaped from the barricaded bathroom Feb. 9, he told authorities he had spent the good part of 15 months imprisoned there.
The Hernando County sheriff labeled it "incarceration with torture." Authorities said they found bruises from repeated beatings that broke the teen's right forearm and left open wounds on his buttocks.
Defense attorneys maintain that the boy's claims are exaggerated and that he was often in trouble and difficult to control.
A judge terminated Gigliotti's parental rights in June. The boy remains in the care of a foster family in Hernando County.
Gigliotti was once married to Anthony Gigliotti, former principal clarinetist for the Philadelphia Orchestra and one of the most accomplished classical clarinet players of the 20th century.
In other court news, prosecutors have decided to not pursue the death penalty in the murder case against David McBurnett, who is accused of fatally injuring his girlfriend's 1-year-old son.
Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino wasn't available to provide an explanation for the move.
Investigators said McBurnett repeatedly hit Hunter Morris on his hands and feet with a remote control because the boy wouldn't stop crying. He also struck the child with a sandal and his hands, and grabbed the boy by the face and squeezed him, reports state.
Upon questioning, authorities said McBurnett admitted committing the abuse. Judge Springstead set a pretrial date of Jan. 7 in the case.
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.