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Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day 11)

MONDAY, APRIL 26

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 5pm

Court breaks for the day.

Update 4:45pm

Witness says she didn't want her daughter interviewed, but she would have cooperated if asked herself to interview.

Update 4:35pm

Witness says she believed her daughter that nothing happened, that is why denied request for a 2nd interview w/her.

Witness being asked more about second interview requested by the DA's office.

ADA Chris Arnt now cross examining Kim Walker

Update 4:05pm

Court is taking a break

Update 4pm

Witness says mom of 1st alleged victim talked about killing Tonya Craft, said she wanted her to die slow death.

Witness says DA told her either her child could come in for another interview, or she could testify in front of the grand jury

Witness says DA's office called requesting another interview with her daughter. Says she said no.

Witness says she contacted Sheriff's Office to try to get mom of first alleged victim to stop calling her.

State now cross-examining Kim Walker. She is being asked about her phone records.

Update 3:50pm

Witness says mom of 1st alleged victim threatened her if she didn't go forward with case against Tonya Craft.

Witness says Det. Deal told her daughter did not show any signs of abuse, then asked what they thought of Tonya Craft.

Witness says she was told her daughter would talk to a woman, but Det. Deal conducted interview at advocacy center.

Update 3:45pm

Witness says mom of 1st alleged victim told her interview was not optional.

Witness says nothing indicated her daughter had been abused, and she didn't want to put her through an interview.

Witness says mom of child actress urged her to question her daughter.

Witness says her daughter never wanted to leave Tonya Craft's house. Says she would beg to go back.

Update 3:40pm

Witness says mother of child actress asked daughter for three days if Tonya Craft molested her. Says on day 3, girl told her mom yes.

Walker says her daughter admitted to playing "girlfriend-boyfriend game" with third accuser.

Walker says she asked her daughter where she heard word "sex" after writing it on sidewalk. Mom says her daughter said, "I don't know"

Update 3:30pm

Witness says several of the state's witnesses hated Tonya Craft.

Witness describing a conversation she calls a Tonya Craft bashing prior allegations.

Update 3:20pm

Defense asked witness if word "kissing" was on sidewalk. Mom says no, her daughter was too young to spell that word at the time

Witness says her daughter drew a boy, girl, and word "sex" ... two state witnesses each described writing differently.

Witness being asked about her daughter writing words in chalk.

Update 3:15pm

Witness says both of her children spent the night at Tonya Craft's house.

Update 3:05pm

Witness attended Tonya Craft's wedding at home of one of the accusers.

Witness being asked to identify her children, accusers, and friends in pictures.

Update 2:55pm

Witness says she would visit her friend Tonya Craft at school and never observed her acting inappropriate with students.

Update 2:50pm

Witness being asked mostly about how she knows Tonya Craft, how often kids played together, baseball teams, etc.

Update 2:40pm

Walker's voice is quivering as she answer's questions.

Kim Walker is the mom of child that wrote on the sidewalk the words "sex" and "kissing" that launched the allegations against #TonyaCraft

Defense calls Kim Walker.

Court back in session.

Update 2:10pm

The judge says there's sufficient evidence on all 22 counts.

Update 2:05pm

Defense says time frames do not match up between indictments and testimony.

Defense going through 22 counts against Tonya Craft. Says state didn't present evidence to support several of them.

Defense motioning to do away w/counts of agg. child molestation against #TonyaCraft. Defense: "evidence doesn't show there was penetration"

Update 2:00pm

The state rests.

Dad is dismissed but on a recall list.

Dad says he got a letter from the DA's office telling him not to talk to defense team about case w/out asking first.

Dad says he was never interviewed by an investigator.

Update 1:55pm

Defense attorney says he believes girl in tape says, "my mom told me which is which and where they touched me"

Dad confirms that is what his daughter said in tape.

A clip of daughter's interview is going to play in courtroom. Dad handed a copy of the transcript

Update 1:45pm

Dad says he didn't want to be a part of this "thing" - meaning the trial.

Each time this dad answers a question he adds the word "sir". Very respectful of state, and even defense attorneys.

Dad says if he had it to do again he would have done it differently, he says he would have talked to Tonya Craft directly about allegations.

Defense now asking questions. Dad has re-gained his composure as he answers questions about his 2 jobs

Update 1:40pm

Dad says he asked daughter if she was 100% sure it happened. He says she said yes. He says that's all he needed to know.

Dad's voice shaking, crying as he tells about his daughter telling him about abuse.

Dad chokes up telling about first time talking to his daughter, "I wanted to know what happened from my daughter"

Dad says he didn't want his daughter to go to court and have to "re-live it everyday"

Dad says he was molested as a child. Says, "I know what it's like for people not to believe you"

Dad says his wife wanted to prosecute, he did not.

Dad says he didn't question his daughter about allegations because he "didn't feel comfortable talking about it"

Update 1:30pm

"We didn't know what to think, it was just mind-blowing" dad says about reaction to allegations against Tonya Craft

Dad says he got another call from wife saying his daughter disclosed that Tonya Craft had touched her.

Dad says when he got the call he didn't suspect Tonya Craft.

Dad says wife called him to meet her at child advocacy center about daughter being victim in child-on-child abuse.

Update 1:20pm

Dad says his daughter did not want to go to school following the party.

Dad says his daughter became withdrawn and have nightmares after attending a Halloween party at Tonya Craft's house.

Dad says he knows accuser 3 and her family, but did not know accuser 1 and her family prior to Tonya Craft case.

Update 1:15pm

Dad says Tonya Craft was his son's kindergarten teacher. His wife was her homeroom mom.

State calls dad of 2nd child accuser.

Court back in session.

Update 11:50am

Lunch break until 1:15.

Update 11:45am

State now with redirect of Holly Kittle. Now she seems to be fine with questioning.

Update 11:40am

Kittle says she didn't know how many times her co-worker Lori Evans counseled girl prior to interviewing her.

Girl was going through counseling in same facility where Holly Kittle works.

Update 11:30am

Defense asking witness about things that "don't make sense" in girl's testimony. She says she "didn't think about it"

Holly Kittle getting very frustrated as Dr. Lorandos asks if she interviewed other alleged victim. She did not.

Kittle being asked if girl's robotic tone of voice when answering questions about abuse raised any red flags. She says no.

Update 11:20am

Defense going line-by-line through transcript with witness asking questions

Kittle says prior to her interview with girl she was not told what girl said in other interviews.

Update 11:10am

Kittle being asked about girl's changing testimony. At one point she says Tonya Craft used "finger", other times "fingers".

Witness says she "liked" comment because never in her career has she seen something like this. Doc. Lorandos says "me either".

Update 11:05am

Arnt's comment referred to defense team as "insane".

Kittle being asked about clicking "like" on comment ADA Chris Arnt made on Facebook about defense team and Tonya Craft case.

Update 10:45am

Court back in session

Update 10:25am

State just asked for a break because of "bladder limitations"

Update 10:20am

Defense just quoted Ben Franklin, "Better that 100 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer"

Update 10:15am

Defense continues to hammer away on what witness does/doesn't know about research. Tactic he's used w/all forensic interviewers.

Witness says "the more experience the better you can do your job"

Update 10:05am

Defense continues to hammer away on what witness does and doesn't know about research. Tactic he's used with all forensic interviewers.

Witness had been a forensic interviewer for just a few months before conducting interview w/ accuser.

Defense continues questioning. Lots of question about what Kittle read before testifying. State asked just a handful of questions prior.

Update 9:55am

Holly Kittle now answering questions about video/interview with girl (accuser 1).

At end of interview girl (accuser 1) shows picture she drew. It's of her and her mom.

Girl says other accuser touched her. Says girl told her Tonya Craft said she had to do it.

Update 9:50am

Interviewer leaves room again. Comes back and asks again if Tonya Craft asked her to touch other girl, or other girl to touch her.

This taped interview was 11 months after the first interview with same girl. Girl disclosing a lot that wasn't in 1st interview.

Update 9:40am

Kittle comes back into room with two dolls, one to represent Tonya Craft and one to represent girl. She's asked to show her how abuse happened

Interviewer leaves room. Video rolls of girl by herself.

Girl says Tonya Craft would "always" hit her. When asked if it ever left a mark she said, "ummmm, I don't remember".

Girl in video is now more meek in answering interviewer. They are discussing Tonya Craft abusing her in kitchen.

Update 9:30am

Girl says Tonya Craft used her fist to hit her for being "bad". First we've heard of Craft hitting girl.

Girl in video is an open book. Telling Kittle all about allegations without hesitation.

Update 9:20am

Girl says Tonya Craft covered her mouth with her hand while molesting her.

Girl freely, with no hesitation, telling interviewer in tape about Tonya Craft allegedly molesting her.

Witness in video talking to little girl about favorite colors to break the ice.

Update 9:10am

The interview will play in court. This is at least the third time we will see it.

Witness was asked to identify the disc/transcript of the interview with the girl. Says the Det. Deal was present for interview.

Witness says she interviewed the first of 3 alleged victims in April 2009.

Kittle testifies she has done approximately 250 forensic interviews.

First witness for day is Holly Kittle, a forensic interviewer for Lookout Mtn. Judicial Circuit.

Business matters off top. State hands over copy of note written by state's witnesses about things she recalled after testifying.

Update 9:00am

Court is in session.

Update 8:00 a.m.

The third week of the Tonya Craft child molestation case is set to resume this morning. There is a chance the state will rest its case early this week.

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