DAY ONE: Tonya Craft custody case underway in Hamilton Co. - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

DAY ONE: Tonya Craft custody case underway in Hamilton Co.

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Craft returns to courtroom for afternoon session of custody hearing. Craft returns to courtroom for afternoon session of custody hearing.

Here are the latest updates from Eyewitness News reporter Melydia Clewell who is in the courtroom.

* Court wrapped shortly after and will resume on Wednesday morning. 

4:09pm Finley Knowles says the Henkes appear to be a perfect family.

4:05pm Finley Knowles now on the stand at #tonyacraft custody trial. Friend of Joal Henke.

3:31pm Witness #7: Joshua McGinnis, business consultant for veterinarians. Long time friend of Joal Henke.

3:14pm Smith dismissed. 10 minute break.

3:12pm Judge just told Sarah Henke to leave courtroom. She's also on Craft's witness list & may be recalled.

3:11pm Smith says Craft's children appear happy, normal.

3:09pm Next witness - Laura Smith, director of children's church ministry.

3:07pm Sarah Henke is dismissed from the stand.

3:05pm Sarah Henke's parents got to see Tonya Craft's kids on Mothers Day 2009 and 2010. Craft and her parents did not.

2:57pm Sarah says she continued showering with Craft's daughter for nine months "because I wasn't doing anything wrong."

2:55pm Scott King asking Sarah Henke about showering with Tonya Craft's daughter. She says girl wasn't clean when they picked her up.

2:51pm Sarah knew Craft before she married Joal. Tonya was her Sunday school teacher.

2:49pm  Tonya Craft suing Joal & Sarah Henke in federal court, claiming they helped conspire in false prosecution.

2:43pm Sarah Henke now on stand. She appears to be pregnant.

2:35pm Craft's attorney, Clancy Covert, asking teacher about Joal Henke's involvement at school. She saw him more than his wife.

2:31pm Up next: Kendra Svoboda, another teacher

2:29pm Teacher is excused.

2:27pm Teacher says Craft's daughter is very social. Fun, happy child, seems well adjusted.

2:23pm Attorney Cary King now doing cross exam of daughter's former teacher.

2:21pm Craft's daughter's former teacher now on stand.

2:20pm Margo Williams is excused. She asked if she can stay in court to observe. Judge says yes.

2:18pm Principal says both of Craft's kids are doing very well in school, daughter making straight A's.

2:15pm Principal says school is overcrowded, very few transfers admitted but she let Craft's kids in due to friendship with Henkes.

2:12pm Margo Williams, principal of Tonya Craft's children on stand. Says Joal's wife, Sarah, is family friend.

2:10pm Joal Henke is excused. Sidebar conference underway.

2:07pm King finished with Joal. Attorney Charles Dupree on re-direct.

1:57pm Court back in session. Joal Henke on the stand.

1:49pm Craft returns to courtroom for afternoon session.

12:40pm Court takes one-hour lunch break.

12:35pm King now asking Joal about his new wife showering with Craft 's then 5 year old daughter.

12:28pm Joal continues being "unable to recall" most of King's questions regarding Craft's parents' access to kids.

12:20pm Joal admits telling kids he put tracking devices on their cells when they went to visit Craft's parents. He says he later disabled GPS.

12:16pm One day after Judge Williams gave order granting Craft visitation Joal told Catoosa DA he did not want kids to see their mother.

12:11pm Scott King appears to be trying to show pattern of Joal alienating kids from Craft during her criminal case.

12:10pm Joal admits he had children baptized without discussing it with Craft.

12:01pm Joal admits enrolling son in summer camp in GA while Judge Williams had ordered kids not to leave TN

11:59am A lot of Joal Henke's answers include "I don't recall" or "I can't remember".

11:57am Joal also denied Tonya Craft's parents' request for time with kids on Mothers Day this year.

11:53am Joal also denied Craft visitation on Mothers Day 2010.

11:52am Joal says he denied Craft visitation with their son on Mothers Day 2009. He can't remember why.

11:43am Joal's house purchased by his dad, dad lied to get VHA loan, said he would live there, not Joal. (That's a federal offense.)

11:38am Joal called Catoosa court to see if Tonya Craft violated bond by asking for their kids' school records.

11:36am Tonya Craft had to get court order to access her kids school records.

11:34am Joal admits he lied on application to get kids in school they weren't zoned for; left mother's information blank on form.

11:29am Joal seems confused, trouble reading charts. KING: It's not that complicated. JUDGE: Easy, counselor.

11:27am Scott King making Joal Henke read kids' med charts. There was no three year gap in their health care.

11:24am King is challenging Joal's statement that Tonya Craft didn't take kids for well child visits for three years.

11:20am KING: did you tell the doctor you weren't involved with your kids? JOAL: I wasn't allowed to be involved.

11:15am Scott King asking Joal Henke about his conversation with court-appointed therapist. He can't remember what he told her.

11:09am Joal Henke now on cross exam with Tonya Craft attorney Scott King.

10:35am Joal Henke says he had no involvement in prosecuting Tonya Craft other than producing children when detectives asked.

10:28am Joal Henke is detailing the children's activities-football, piano, tennis, church, etc.

10:24am Joal Henke says when he got full custody he learned his kids' had "significant gaps" in doctors' checkups.

10:20am Judge Williams just corrected Joal for using his children's names due to media presence.

10:16am Joal Henke is detailing the weekend of Tonya Craft arrest in 08.

10:13am ATTY: And when did you remarry? JOAL: Uhh, these are difficult questions

10:15am Henke's attorney is asking about original custody plan when they divorced in mid 90's.

10:10am Joal Henke is taking the stand.

10:07am Judge Williams is on the bench for TonyaCraft, witnesses told to leave the courtroom.

9:35am Judge Williams left the courtroom. It appears the rest of her docket is done. Waiting on Tonya Craft hearing.

 

 

 

By WRCB Staff

CHATTANOOGA, (WRCB)  Months after Tonya Craft was found not guilty of child molestation, custody of her children remains up in the air.

Craft lost custody of her children two years ago, when the accusations of child molestation first surfaced.

In May, a jury acquitted her.  For the past several months she's been fighting to regain custody.  The hearing was delayed several times over the summer.

But today that may change the question of custody may change.

A hearing in scheduled for today in Hamilton County.

We'll have the latest developments in the controversial case tonight on Eyewitness News at 6.

 

 

 

 

 

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