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Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day Eight)


Follow WRCB's Melydia Clewell and Callie Starnes on Twitter. Get updates from the field and courthouse at Legal analysis on-air from WRCB Legal Analyst McCracken Poston.

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Update 5:00 p.m.

The Tonya Craft trial has dismissed for the day.

Before the case ended for the day Detective Deal testified that contacted Suzie Thorne to schedule interviews as soon as possible.

Update 4:38pm

Det. says when he told Tonya Craft about allegations against her she turned so red she looked purple.

Det. Deal testifying about approaching Tonya Craft about allegations against her.

Update 4:35pm

Det. Deal answering questions from state. Says it can be difficult to question children without being leading.

Video still rolling of interview between Det. Deal and little girl. Otherwise, it's quiet in the courtroom.

Update 3:35pm

Deal going through slang names of private parts he's heard. Says he has to stay up on them so he can understand child victims.

Detective Deal says original allegations against Tonya Craft came from a girl not involved in this case.

Update 3:15pm

Deal says 3 to 4 cases he handles a week have to do with child abuse.

Lead investigator in Tonya Craft case, Tim Deal, now on stand.

Update 2:55pm

Defense finishes cross. ADA Arnt doing redirect of Stacy Long. He's asking her about research now. She suddenly remembers data.

Update 2:37pm

Defense attorney asks witness to cite a study that shows children are no more suggestible than adults. She can't.

Witness says children are no more suggestible than adults.

Update 1:55pm

Witness continues rolling eyes, making faces, mouthing comments in general direction of prosecution table.

Update 1:50pm

Lorandos: Wasn't that a suggestive question (you asked the girl?) Stacy Long: "So what?!"

Defense attorney asks interviewer if she was asking girls "repeating" questions. Stacy Long says she was "clarifying".

Update 1:40pm

Dr Lorandos reviewing transcript of videotaped interviews with Stacy Long.

Update 1:30 pm

Defense Attorney makes second reference to Salem Witch Hunt and Trials. Girls who made up stories -- "did it for sport."

Dr Lorandos questioning witness about false allegations, false memories, parental influence, rumor formation...

Update NOON

Court is taking a break until 1:15. Same witness will return.

Defense continues to hammer away on witness' knowledge of how parents can influence child interviews.

Update 11:35 am

Defense has yet to ask witness about the interviews on tape, still asking about research in her field.

Officer checking on us in pool. Wants to know if we are awake, says "not us". Testimony admittedly not very exciting this am.

Wish I was in courtroom at this moment. Witness continues to smirk and laugh. Wish I knew who in the courtroom she's looking at.

Update 11:30 am

Objections continue over defense's questioning tactics. Witness rolling eyes

State attorneys look bored. Face in hands as defense continues to question their witness.

Forensic interviewer Stacy Long keeps rolling her eyes at Dr Lorandos as he asks her about peer review standards.

Update 11:15 am

Witness beginning to get agitated as defense asks more ?'s about code of ethics she had to follow when she was a social worker.

Defense quizzing witness on NSWA code of ethics

Witness being asked about resume, credentials, experience. Defense even asking her to explain acronyms in her field.

Witness had to explain to Lorandos (defense attorney) what UTC stands for. He's from Detroit folks, not a local boy.

Update 10:45 am

Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos doing cross-examination of Stacy Long.

Prosecution asked questions for five minutes or less. Defense up now.

Update 10:40 am

Witness answering state's questions about trends among those she's interviewed.

Court back in session. Witness says she has done well over 1,000 interviews w/children and has testified before.

Update 10:20 am

Videos finished playing. Taking a short break before witness questioning begins.

Girl tells interviewer she's going to spa after interview. We've seen this in court before.

Update 10:10 am

Second tape shows the girl saying Tonya Craft molested her, not just another child. Interviewer asks, "anything else you forgot to tell me before?"

No explanation of when this second video was taken. Don't know if it is same day, or some time after. Hope that will be explained.

State is showing another video between same witness and child.

Update 10 a.m.

Interviewer comes back into shot, begins with more questions. In every video shown in court interviewer leaves at one point.

Court room is quiet. Video shows girl left alone as interviewer leaves room.

Pool cam on witness as video plays. Every now and then she will frown or look around, looks uncomfortable.

Update 9:40 am

Interviewer asks little girl in tape who she told first about child-on-child abuse. Says her mom came to her & asked about it.

Girl in tape talking about another child fondling her. Says Tonya Craft kissed her on head, neck, & shoulder, & wouldn't give her food.

Update 9:25 a.m.

Long is looking through transcript of interview with girl. Video will now play.

Update 9:20 a.m.

Long says she interviewed 1 of 3 alleged victims. It was one of her last interviews before taking a new job.

Update 9:15 a.m.

State calls Stacy Long, a school counselor.

Long says she worked with child advocacy center in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA.

Update 9:10 a.m.

Judge denies defense's request to strike Thorne's testimony.

State says un-taped allegations were part of a summary given to defense and they will provide a copy.

Update 9:05 a.m.

Defense wants Suzi Thorne's testimony excluded because she didn't document claims from child that she was abused.

Court is in session.

Update 8:45 a.m.

Judge was sitting on bench near metal detector when I came in this morning just chatting with court officers.

Defense attorney asking little girl where she wants him to stand when he asks her questions.

Defense attorney has a child on the stand explaining to her what will happen later in trial when she takes the stand.

Update 7:00 a.m.

The trial is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. At the end of the day Tuesday, the WRCB team began hearing the trial could last four weeks instead of the initially predicted two weeks.

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