Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day 11)
MONDAY, APRIL 26
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Court breaks for the day.
Witness says she didn't want her daughter interviewed, but she would have cooperated if asked herself to interview.
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
Court is taking a break
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.
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.
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.
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"
Witness says several of the state's witnesses hated Tonya Craft.
Witness describing a conversation she calls a Tonya Craft bashing prior allegations.
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.
Witness says both of her children spent the night at Tonya Craft's house.
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.
Witness says she would visit her friend Tonya Craft at school and never observed her acting inappropriate with students.
Witness being asked mostly about how she knows Tonya Craft, how often kids played together, baseball teams, etc.
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.
The judge says there's sufficient evidence on all 22 counts.
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"
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.
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
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
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"
"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.
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.
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.
Lunch break until 1:15.
State now with redirect of Holly Kittle. Now she seems to be fine with questioning.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
Court back in session
State just asked for a break because of "bladder limitations"
Defense just quoted Ben Franklin, "Better that 100 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer"
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.