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Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day Ten)

Friday, APRIL 23

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

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Update 4:40pm

Court is breaking until Monday at 9 am. No court Saturday.


Witness says she never saw inappropriate acts between Tonya Craft and kids. She is excused and put on recall list.

Update 4:30pm


Witness says she has reported suspected child abuse, but did not report in this case


Shell being asked about mandatory reporting laws now by defense.


Teacher telling story about alleged victim saying she would not go near


Update 4:20pm

Teacher says alleged victim would not sit "criss cross apple sauce" in class. AKA, Indian style.


Shell smiling a lot in testimony, addressing jury while telling about movie alleged victim acted in.

Update 4:15pm


Witness says she called alleged victim "sunshine" #TonyaCraft

Witness also knows 2nd alleged victim, her son is in same grade. Family friends with the girl's parents.


Update 4:10pm


Witness taught same alleged victim a year earlier, in 2nd grade.

Shell says she taught with Tonya Craft at Chickamauga Elementary, her classroom was on the same hall.


Update 4:05pm


Another teacher taking the stand. Stephanie Shell, 2nd grade teacher.

Pool was hoping for an early Friday, but State is calling it's next witness.

Update 4pm


Witness has been dismissed.

Update 3:35pm

Defense showing teacher document that says she, as a mandatory reporter, must report child abuse within 24 hrs.

Defense now asking questions of the teacher.

Teacher says she believed girl, didn't think she was acting in class.

Update 3:25pm

Teacher says girl would have "freeze-ups" or "melt-downs" and panic until she could talk to her mom and brother.

Witness says girl came to her, said her "kindergarten teacher did something bad...that's why she called her the evil one"

Witness says girl's mother had seen alleged victim do it too. Witness said the mom told her girl learned it from Tonya Craft.

Witness says she reported what child was doing to supervisor, then the 2 told the girl's mother.

Witness says girl would not use objects, just muscles to masturbate during quiet time in class.

Witness says she noticed her student, alleged victim masturbating in class.

Update 3:15pm

Witness asked if girl is a "drama queen" ... Says she looked word up so she would know how to answer today in court.

Witness testifies she has seen both movies second alleged victim acted in.

Tonya Craft's husband outside pacing sidewalk. Usually spends day in hallways, but last two days he's spent a lot of time outside.

Witness says she knows of second alleged victim but not well.

Witness taught one of the accusers (child actor) last year.

Witness says she is not a close friend of Tonya Craft's.

Kythas testifies when she was a student teacher her classroom was right next door to Tonya Craft's classroom.

Next witness, Joni Kythas - 3rd grade teacher at Chickamauga Elementary.

Update 3pm

Court back in session.

Update 2:40pm

Witness is excused. Court taking a 15 minute break.

Principal says she knew alleged victim had disclosed info about alleged molestation the day she got upset.

Update 2:35pm

Bradley shaking head, rolling eyes.

Principal testifies there were no reports made to her about how Tonya Craft interacted with students.

Update 2:30pm

Bradley testifies she is a mandatory reporter under the law, she must report child abuse.

Defense asked Bradley if the girl's parents getting a divorce could have caused child to be upset. Says it's possible.

Back to day Bradley says alleged victim became upset. Says she didn't ask why girl was upset

Principal being asked about Tonya Craft's evaluations. Bradley says Craft was "a very good teacher".

Principal says she would remember something being thrown in meeting, says that didn't happen in meeting between Tonya Craft and parents.

Principal says during meeting the parents did not threaten Tonya Craft, and Craft was more emotional in meeting.

Two parents Principal testifies were in this meeting are not parents of alleged victims.

Principal testifying about a meeting between Tonya Craft and two parents about their child possibly being held back from 1st grade.

Update 2:20pm

State asking Bradley about first alleged witness - the child actor. Says she saw change in the girl, took her into office one day to calm her down.

Update 2:10pm

Bradley knows alleged one of the alleged victims and her family too, but says she didn't know much about the family until case came up.

Bradley also knows the alleged victim first to testify, and her parents. Says knows that family in and out of school.

Bradley says her relationship with Tonya Craft was only as co-workers.

Update 2pm

Chickamauga Elementary School Principal Kristen Bradley answering questions about her resume.

Witness has been dismissed. The principal of school where Tonya Craft taught is up next.

Update 1:55pm

Dad says he didn't ask his son if Tonya Craft molested him because he heard it was only girls Craft was accused of abusing.

State is now beginning re-direct with witness.

Witness testifying more about Tonya Craft allegedly having relations with another woman. He says he didn't think it was relevant until now.


Update 1:40pm

Dad says calls between him and other parents did not include details of the case.

Over 9 months records show dad talked to mom of other alleged victim more than 80 times, more than 200 mins total.

Update 1:30pm

Defense attorney Scott King using dry-erase board to map out calls between dad and other parents.

Phone records show long conversations, some 130 mins long, between dad and parents of other girls.

Update 1:20pm

Dad looking through calls he made and received.

Dad on stand testy with defense questioning about his phone records.

Same witness back on the stand. Court in session.

NOON

Court breaking until 1:15.

Dad says he gave kid's school a false address. Used in-laws so kid could go to certain school.

Update 11:50am

Dad says before allegations he barely knew parents of other accusers. Says, "that wasn't a circle I was welcomed into"

Phone records show dad talked to a mom of another alleged girl for 120 minutes.

Update 11:45am

Continue to hear same name over and over. Name of the woman who called this dad about alleged abuse. She's mom of one of the girls.

Update 11:30am

Dad says wife not allowed to be in building for child interview because allegations about her showering with girl  allegations made by Tonya Craft.

Update 11:20am

Dad answers to inconsistencies in his statement, "I don't have a lot of experience with this"

Dad says he didn't include in statement that daughter was allegedly molested because authorities had not interviewed daughter yet.

Dad testifies what is in statement he gave is not true. Says it may be a typo.

Dad in statement says he was called by parents of "several" small girls about alleged abuse. Says today just parents of one girl.

Update 11am

Witness says he felt "fatherly intuition" that his daughter had more to tell, so he asked her questions.

Witness answering questions about statement he gave police.

Update 10:50am

Witness says he doesn't remember if authorities told him not to ask his daughter about alleged abuse.

Update 10:40am

Witness says she didn't call Tonya Craft after other dad accused her, says he never called and asked her about allegations.

Update 10:25am

Witness says didn't mention Tonya Craft being with woman or watching porn when he gave original statement. Says he remembered during trial.

Update 10:20am

Defense asking witness about when he talked to detectives in case.

Update 10:15am

Witness says he asked his daughter if "anyone touched her" at first, not directly if Tonya Craft touched her.

Witness says father of another alleged victim called him to tell him about allegations.

State now asking questions about allegations against Tonya Craft.

Update 10:07am

Witness testifies Tonya Craft told him she was drugged and ended up in another woman's bed.

Witness testifies he has knowledge that Tonya Craft watched girl on girl sex tape years ago.

Update 10:05am

Next witness is being sworn in.

Update 9:56am

Judge will allow bi-sexual argument to be made. He denied defense's request for a hearing about issue.

Defense argues Tonya Craft's sexual preference does not relate to alleged child molestation. Citing case law.

Update 9:50am

State is citing case law about whether bi-sexuality is relevant.

Update 9:47am

Court back in session

Update 9:38am

State calls dad of one of the alleged victims then court takes a ten minute break.

Update 9:33am

Witness is excused from stand.

Woman says step daughter's doctor advised her to not shower with girl so she stopped.

Update 9:25am

Woman does not like having to answer yes/no questions. Defense continues to insist on one of the two before going into detailed answer.

Woman is an RN, says she doesn't remember much about training to recognize signs of child abuse.

Update 9:20am

Woman says girl was not in shower with her when she shaved her pubic area, and didn't allow girl to shave her.

Update 9:15am

Woman says even after claims of abuse, she continued to shower w/ her stepdaughter. It was 9 months into Tonya Craft case she stopped.

Woman says child services came to talk to her about bathing with her stepdaughter (one of alleged victims).

Defense now asking questions. State only asked questions for six minutes.

Woman testifies her husband is 15 yrs older than her. She was also Tonya Craft's Sunday School student years ago.

Update 9:10am

Woman says she was in room with her step daughter while a medical exam was performed on her.

Woman says she gave her then six yr old stepdaughter an old razor (without blade) to use in the shower.

Stepmother of one of the alleged victims is on the stand. We won't give her name, to protect alleged victim.

Court is in session. State calling another witness.

Update 8:30 a.m.

The Tonya Craft child molestation trial resumes at 9:00 a.m. today. Thursday ended with the continuing testimony of the lead detective.

Tim Deal told the jury about his training to provide court testimony. Defense attorney Scott King spent hours questioning Deal about his handling of the case.

That resulted in a few testy exchanges.

At one point King repeatedly asked the detective a question and Deal asked King if he was have memory problems.

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