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Tonya Craft: Teacher on Trial (Day 12)

TUESDAY, APRIL 27

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 4:45pm

Court has recessed for the day.

Defense finished by asking if M.Potter purchased a dress/bathing suit for Tonya Craft. He says his wife loaned her the money for the items.

Defense asking M. Potter about a trip he, wife, and Tonya Craft took to Vegas. Defense: "what happens in Vegas doesn't get to stay in Vegas"

Len Gregor becoming combative with defense's witness, witness isn't fighting back.

Gregor asking M. Potter why he didn't go to Sheriff's Office to tell them he didn't believe Tonya Craft did it. Same question asked of wife.

M.Potter says accuser 1's dancing style at Tonya Craft's wedding made him "uncomfortable"

M.Potter says Tonya Craft's children never looked like they weren't cared for. Children's step mother alleged earlier that they did.

M.Potter says no one contacted him about an interview following charges against Tonya Craft

Update 4:25pm

Len Gregor objects - says defense is leading witness.

M. Potter being asked to identify children, including his, in pictures

M. Potter says he knows mom of accuser 1 because Tonya Craft's wedding was at her house.

Update 4:15pm

M. Potter just asked if Tonya Craft ever wore a thong bathing suit at his pool. He says no.

M. Potter being asked about time frame of his friendship with Tonya Craft. Much of testimony includes time at kid's sporting events.

Update 4pm

M. Potter says his son played baseball with Tonya Craft's son.

M. Potter says he has known Tonya Craft since 2006.

Defense calls Mike Potter, husband of Paula Potter, dad of 12 yr old that took the stand.

Update 3:40pm

Court taking a break. New witness after the break.

Doctor says 25% of women say they were abused as a child.

Update 3:30pm

Dr Fajman answering questions now from Dr. Lorandos about how to handle children who are caught pleasing themselves.

Dr. Fajman continues to fill in the blanks for Arnt as he cross-examines her as a witness.

Study focuses on girls impregnated during rape. Arnt wants 2 know abt sperm. Dr Fajman: They're pregnant, I'd assume there were sperm.

Update 3:15pm

Doctor asked about a study. Not only does she know it, she spelled the writer's name for Chris Arnt.

Update 3:05pm

Defense's expert witness Dr. Fajman testifies that a child's understanding of word "vagina" is not the same as adult's understanding.

Dr Fajman answering Chris Arnt's questions about tissue and indicators of abuse.

Arnt asks if Dr Fajman is familiar w/research. She is. Knows it well enough to provide explanation for how study was conducted.

Update 2:45pm

Arnt asking abt Dr Fajman's fee. Rate set by Emory. $250/hr. Includes travel time. Her bill is apx $2750.

Arnt tells Dr Fajman they presented together at a conference. She doesn't seem to remember. "Oh, okay."

Update 2:40pm

Chris Arnt doing cross-exam of Dr Fajman. Asking her if the interns she teaches should know the stats after they pass the test, yrs later.

Dr Fajman says the interns she teaches are expected to study research. Should be well-trained in subject matter, what's norm vs. abnormal.

Update 2:30pm

Dr. Lorandos asked Dr Fajman to look at the size of Tonya Craft 's hand. Held up her fingers for jury.

Dr Lorandos keeps reminding jurors that state nurse has "an associates degree."

Update 2:20pm

Exam state nurse found "very suspicious" is not suspicious at all to Dr. Fajman. She says it's a "normal" result.

State expert said two medical exams were "suspicious." Dr Fajman says results of child sex exams are either "normal" or "abnormal."

Update 2:15pm

Dr. Fajman comes across as authoritative, knowledgeable about child sex exams. 

Dr Fajman is an Assoc Prof of Pediatrics at Emory. State says they'll agree she's an "expert" without jury hearing all about her

ADA Chris Arnt interrupts Dr Lorandos asking Dr. Nancy Fajman about her experience, not necessary to go thru her qualifications.

Jury back in courtroom. Defense calls Dr. Nancy Fajman

Update 1:45pm

Following a lot of gasps/laughter in courtroom, Judge says anyone who disturbs court will be kicked out

Update 1:35pm

State attorneys will take defense's witness downstairs to do interview so he/she can testify. Defense won't be allowed there.

State doesn't want a defense witness on stand w/o a prior summary of his testimony.

Judge says cross testimony will be allowed in. He denies, once again, the defense's request.

Update 1:25PM

Defense says they are concerned by the way the state cross-examined the last 2 witnesses.

Court back in session. Defense moves to exclude any evidence of any contact Tonya Craft had with other adults.

Update 11:55am

Court breaking for lunch. Back at 1:15, new witness then.

ADA Chris Arnt asked 12 yr old girl a few questions, then dismissed her.

Update 11:50am

Girl says Tonya Craft didn't hide candy in her house, or drive recklessly, or use bad words.

Girl says was at Tonya Craft's house every afternoon in 2007, and didn't see accuser 1 there ever.

Girl testifies she has seen accuser 1 pole dance.

Update 11:40am

Dr. Lorandos asking the questions. He has questioned all kids in case.

Defense calls their next witness, 12 yr old girl. She's daughter of previous witness.

Update 11:20am

Court taking a 10 minute break. Witness excused, she will not be subject to recall.

Defense publicly apologized to witness for what she just went through. Judge House scolded him saying that was not appropriate.

Potter says she questions the parents involved in the case. Says she thinks its a conspiracy against Tonya Craft.

Gregor: "Which one of Tonya's truths do you believe?" Potter: "That she is innocent"

Update 11:15am

Gregor asking witness about bathing suits Tonya Craft would wear. Potter: "If I looked like that I would wear a bikini too"

Update 11:10am

Gregor asks Potter about her involvement in Truth for Tonya group that claims Catoosa County and Judicial Circuit are corrupt.

Potter: "I'm here to tell the truth"

Judge overrules objection once again, after Gregor raises voice claiming Defense is objecting for the cameras.

Update 11:05am

Gregor accusing Defense of playing games by objecting. Says he knows the rules and defense doesn't.

Another objection. Gregor says he has same response, "I have the right to test her knowledge and biases of defendant"

Gregor: "I have a good faith basis for testing this witness's knowledge of defendant's character."

Gregor to witness: Are you saying the abuse didn't happen because you didn't see it?

Defense objects again to questions about hearsay things about Tonya Craft. Judge overrules and allows Gregor to continue what he's doing.

Update 11am

Gregor reading definition of a narcissist. Then asks witness if she knows any.

Gregor says he can question Tonya Craft 's character without having evidence about allegations he's implying. Judge House agrees.

Update 10:55am

Gregor continues to question Potter about things said by other people that have not been introduced in court.

Gregor asking witness if she has ever been alone with a biz associate in a hotel room. Then moves on.

Potter asked if she knows anyone who's been molested by a parent. Says she was date raped at 15. Gregor says that's not the same thing.

Update 10:50am

Gregor asks Potter if she believes accuser 1 is a "slut". She says she's too young. Gregor, "so you are saying she is a pre-slut"

Defense objects again, calling state's line of questions a "character assault"

Potter remains polite despite state questioning her own sex life.

Potter asked if she or her husband have had sexual encounters with Tonya Craft. She says there were none.

Update 10:45am

Gregor: Isn't appearance important to her? Potter: Her health is important to her

Gregor asking Potter about Truth for Tonya website. She says she's a member.

Gregor asking questions that imply Tonya Craft had affairs, drinks "a lot."

Update 10:40am

Len Gregor asking Potter a lot of questions about Tonya Craft 's first marriage. Potter didn't know Craft then.

Defense witness is responding to state's questions with "Yes, Sir" and "No, Sir" .. very polite to opposing counsel.

Update 10:35am

Len Gregor asks Potter if she ever observed Tonya Craft 's "intimate sex life."

Len Gregor asks Potter if she knew Tonya Craft was involved in "beauty muscle stuff" ... fitness pageants.

Court back in session. Potter being cross-examined.

Update 10:15am

Potter comes off stand and goes to Tonya Craft. They hug, before Potter leaves courtroom.

Update 10:05am

Dee Potter says Kim Walker was being harassed by the mom accusing Tonya Craft of molesting girls so Potter refused to take mom's calls.

Cari King is using a dry erase board to summarize Potter's testimony.

Update 10:00am

When asked by defense, Potter says she would allow her kids to go to Tonya Craft's home alone tomorrow.

Potter says although her kids spent every day with Tonya Craft, investigators never contacted her about interviewing her kids.

Potter says mom of accuser 1 told her she hated Tonya Craft after Craft and her husband separated.

Update 9:55am

Potter spells out what she heard mom of accuser 1 called Tonya Craft, she refuses to use profanity in court.

Potter says at Tonya Craft's wedding accuser 1 was dancing suggestively to song "my humps".

Update 9:50am

Potter describes accuser 1 as "a very worldly child"

Potter says mom of accuser 1 was matron of honor in Tonya Craft's wedding, she was second bridesmaid.

Update 9:40am

Potter says she's crying because she hasn't seen one of kids in picture (accuser 3) since May 2008 due to allegations against Tonya Craft

Potter begins to cry as she is asked to identify her kids and others in pictures.

Potter says mom of first accuser never expressed concerns to her about Tonya Craft

Update 9:35am

Potter says she never knew of Tonya Craft giving children, other than her own, a bath at her house.

Update 9:30am

Potter has spent a lot of time with Tonya Craft. Weekends, family vacations, etc.

Potter says Tonya Craft would watch her kids everyday after school to avoid them going to after school child care.

Update 9:25am

After judge sustained motion, ADA Len Gregor said he appreciates King's "little lecture" when arguing against state objection

Defense says state was allowed to use line of questioning, so they should be too. Judge disagrees, quickly sustained objection.

Update 9:15am

Judge sustains state objection. Defense can't ask witness about Tonya Craft 's interaction with other children.

State objects. Citing case law, saying Potter's testimony about kids who weren't allegedly molested shouldn't be allowed.

Potter says her kids weren't in Tonya Craft's class, but she visited Craft's classroom often.

Update 9:10am

Witness says dad of accuser 2 coached team her son and Tonya Craft's son played for.

Cary King doing direct of Dee Potter for the Tonya Craft defense team.

Potter says she never saw Tonya Craft with accuser 1 during summer of 2006.

Tonya Craft kept Dee Potter's children during the summer of '06.

Update 9:05am

Potter says she met Tonya Craft during their kid's baseball season in 2006.

Defense calls Paula D. Potter, says she goes by "D". Says she is best friends with Tonya Craft.

Update 9:00am

Court is back in session.

Dr. Lorandos showing a child witness the courtroom and where she will sit when she takes the stand.

UPDATE 7:00 a.m.

Court will resume at 9:00 a.m. today. The state rested its case yesterday and the defense team began calling witnesses. That will continue this morning.

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