CONTINUING TEAM COVERAGE - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day Seven)

TUESDAY, APRIL 20

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 4:10pm

Witness testifies she did bring up idea of playing "girlfriend-boyfriend" game.

Update 4:00pm

Defense points out witness asked girl same question three times. Says she was clarifying.

Witness admits she introduced idea "bad touch" in interview. She says she wasn't suggesting something, just trying to get info.

Defense going line by line through transcript of interview w/1 of 3 alleged victims asking ?'s. 

Update 3:20pm

This witness is handling defense and his questions better than any witness we've seen. Seems very cool, calm, and collected.

Defense questioning witness about her knowledge of child molestation cases, she's not familiar with any he is asking about.

Update 3:15PM

Defense now questioning witness.

Witness testifies she left Green House because, "you can only hear so much of this." Says she has done 1,000 child interviews

Interviewer back on stand, being asked about her experience. Says it's common children don't tell their parents about abuse.

Update 2:35pm

We are hearing yet again from 1 of 3 alleged victims about child-on-child abuse and the "girlfriend-boyfriend game".


Update 2:30pm

Pool camera fixated on judge as video rolls so we avoid getting shots of kids. I'd rather see Tonya Craft's reaction.

Update 2:20pm

Another video rolling now. Most of this we have heard before. I assume now they are playing it in full to look at interviewer.

Update 2:10pm

It's was on purpose. They let videotape roll after interviewer stepped out of room, leaving girl alone.

No sound coming from courtrm. Not sure if that's on purpose or if we're waiting 4 something. But I prefer the poolrm 2 courtrm.

Update 1:55pm

Little girl in video says another girl hits her if she doesn't play "girl-friend-boyfriend game"

Videos shown in court cannot be seen or heard on the news b/c they are evidence. We will have to summarize.

Update 1:45pm

Tonya Craft's attorney reads along in the transcript as video plays in full.

Part of video we are hearing/seeing right now is the same we saw last week when little girl was on stand.

Video rolling of interview between witness on the stand and girl whose exam was ruled "very suspicious".

Defense not naming witness he is calling to question. Judge says move on.

Court in session. Defense presenting case law from GA on cross examining witnesses, appeal process, and credibility of witnesses

Noon

Court is breaking for lunch. At 1:15 witness will view/answer ?'s about videoed interviews. They will played in full.

Update 11:50am

Witness says videos of interview fairly depict what she and the children talked about.

Update 11:45am

Witness did "courtesy interviews" in Tonya Craft case because investigator wanted someone outside the circuit.

Witness says she interviewed hundreds of children in her time at the Green House. All interviews are video taped.

Witness being asked about her background in interviewing, training, and knowledge of field.

Thorne worked at the Green House, where 3 alleged victims were interviewed/counseled.

New witness taking stand. Suzie Thorne, formal forensic interviewer in Dalton.

Update 11:30am

Defense continues to check witness and her facts. Asking her to repeat her story over and over to see if it changes.

Update 11:22 a.m.

Witness testifies she takes anti-anxiety medication.

Witness asked about a utility bill under a friend's name. Says that was so her son could play at a particular baseball field.

Update 11:16 a.m.

Like the mother who took stand yesterday, we will not show this woman's face to protect her daughter who is alleged victim.

Pool has decided to ask photographer inside to blur faces of witnesses we can't identify, it will make editing easier.

Update 11:13 a.m.

Witnesses gathering outside pool room for some reason. No officer to keep them away. Turning volume down so they can't hear.

Witness says throughout friendship with #TonyaCraft she felt something wasn't right.

Update 11:08 a.m. 

Witness says she did ask her daughter ?'s about the alleged abuse contrary to what investigator told her to do.

Witness says investigators did not ask for her phone records.

Defense asks witness if she told someone on phone that she questioned daughter about Tonya Craft abusing her BEFORE interview. Says, maybe.

Update 10:47 a.m.

It's like deja vu seeing this witness answer defense's ?'s. Abrasive answers, raised eyebrows, body language like last witness.

Demeanor has totally changed now that defense is asking witness questions. Seems to be a trend.

Update 10:20 a.m.

Tonya Craft's husband is a witness, and has to sit outside courtroom through trial. Has to be hard not to hear what is being said.

Prosecution finished with questions. Court taking a break before Defense questions witness.

Witness chokes up as she talks about holding her daughter during exam as she cried.

Witness says told daughter if she did exam she would take her to get a prize. Told her to tell the truth.

Witness says her daughter disclosed more to her in days after interview.

Witness says she took her daughter to have a forensic exam during second visit to child advocacy center.

Update 10 a.m.

Witness says she asked her daughter if Tonya Craft really touched her. She said her daughter said yes.

Witness says she was told by interviewer that her daughter said Tonya Craft molested her.

Witness says she did not tell her daughter prior to interview that it was about

Update 9:55 a.m.

Witness says she gave investigators permission to talk to her daughter.

Witness says she was contacted by a detective asking to interview her daughter about alleged abuse.

Update 9:36 a.m.

Witness says in check-up her daughter did not show signs of damage or abuse.

Witness says she told her daughter not to let anyone see her privates, then called pediatrician for a check up.

This is the second witness to say she hates Tonya Craft's ex-husband because of things Tonya told her about him.

Update 9:19 a.m.

Fellow pool room newsie bought a copy of movie 1 of alleged victims acted in. A few looking forward to borrowing it.

Witness says her kids would visit Tonya Craft's home a lot.

Update 9:08 a.m.

This mom was also a room mother for Tonya Craft's class.

Woman says she has known Tonya Craft for 5 years since her son was in her kindergarten class.

After some technical challenges we are rolling. Mother of 2nd victim on the stand

Update 8:45 a.m.

The prosecution is set to continue its cases against Tonya Craft this morning at 9:00 a.m. with another witness.

 

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