Thursday, January 8, 2015

Trial 2 Part 2

Day one of the trial opened with a detective on the stand first, and then I took the stand. I was FAR more nervous than I had ever been taking the stand (other than when I was a young child) because the last time this case went to trial it ended in a mistrial because of me. I was asked by the prosecutor: "Did your mother ever intervene when Daniel was physically abusing you?" I simply responded: "Only one time and Daniel pushed her down and she fell and broke her wrist.". The defense attorneys contended that this painted Daniel and my mother (because she chose to stay with him) in too bad of a light and that it would bias the jury against him. Therefore a mistrial was declared.

I was far more careful to simply answer questions and not elaborate or share details unless specifically asked to during this trial.  It is always hard to share painful details of your past and have to re-live those times. Thankfully, I was able to make it through my testimony without causing another mistrial!

Other than testifying one of the hardest parts of the trial was listening to my mother get on the stand and lie about me. While I love her it became painfully clear that she only cares for herself and Daniel. As a mom I simply can't understand how she can make the choices that she has made. I know Daniel is a master manipulator, but it breaks my heart that he has been able to manipulate her into choosing him over her own children. She knows who he is and what he has done (he admitted it to her), and yet she defends him and lies about me. There just aren't words to express the heartbreak that her choices cause.

Chuck Phelps was once again subpoenaed and had to testify. The trial was put on hold for several hours because he failed to make it to court on time even though the state of NH had paid for him to fly in for the trial. His testimony directly contradicted the testimony of several police officers, a former youth staff volunteer from Trinity Baptist Church, and a DCYF (division for children and family services) worker.

Many others including my own husband testified. When the prosecution rested the defense pulled a dirty, underhanded move. They literally had NO defense, not one single witness. Their entire strategy of defense was to try to get the case thrown out on a minor technicality in the laws at the time the crime was committed. These kind of technicalities are supposed to be brought up before a case ever goes to trial so that the charges can be amended if necessary.

Based on the actions of the defense, after looking at case law and hearing arguments the judge allowed the jury to deliberate on what would be the amended charges. The jury deliberated and returned a guilty verdict on both counts. While I was relieved at the verdict, I knew that the case wasn't really over because we weren't sure if the amended charges would stick or whether we would have to go back to the grand jury for another indictment and go back to trial all over again.

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