More witnesses take the stand in juvenile cruelty case LC stepmo - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

More witnesses take the stand in juvenile cruelty case LC stepmom

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Jaime Day (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Jaime Day (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

On Thursday, day three of testimony continued in the juvenile cruelty trial against a Lake Charles stepmother. 

The state started by calling Katie Day and Dr. Charles Murphy. Katie Day is the sister of the boy's father, Murry Day. She called CPSO officials on Feb. 19, 2010, concerned that her brother's son was being abused. 

Murphy is a psychiatrist who worked with the boy. 

The state also called Charles Lin McDonald, a counselor and owner of the Helping Hands Counseling center in Lake Charles, where Jaime Day and the boy had been participating in counseling sessions. 

McDonald said he was working with the boy to improve his behavior after he heard a number of accounts of the boy's bad behavior from Jaime Day. McDonald said he tried to build a rapport with boy but "he wasn't interactive much."

McDonald said he and his staff had been working with Jaime Day and the boy for approximately five months. During that time, McDonald said he didn't particularly see any improvement and near the end of that five-month period, he started to take the lead on the case.

When asked to give examples of how the boy was defiant or manipulative, McDonald recounted a time when the boy didn't talk to him during a session. When he gave the boy the chance to write instead, the boy didn't do that either, according to McDonald's testimony. McDonald said, to him, that was a sign of defiance.

McDonald said that Jaime Day was comfortable and forthright with him during the time they worked together. 

McDonald said that he and Jaime Day discussed moving all of the furniture out of the boy's room after Jaime Day told him that the boy had been banging his head against his bed frame or bed post. McDonald said that suggestion was made to prevent any future injury. 

McDonald said that in mid-February, he was made aware that the boy wasn't eating, even when he got food. 

During cross examination, McDonald said that the counseling sessions were voluntary and that it is a voluntary program that Jaime Day initiated in an effort to seek help for the boy. 

McDonald also said that the boy seemed attached to Jaime Day and never noticed him to be afraid of her. 

McDonald said that Jaime Day told him the boy refused to go to school around January 2010 and would threaten to "go" in his pants and disrupt the class if he was forced to go to school.

McDonald testified that he is a mandatory reporter and would have been mandated to report any abuse. 

The state's 13th witness to take the stand was Calcasieu Parish School Board homebound teacher, Evelyn Vincent, who worked as the boy's homebound teacher in February 2010. 

She said prior to beginning the homebound program, it was agreed upon that she would hold class sessions at the Day home on Tuesdays and Fridays, starting the first week of February. 

Vincent said that on her first visit to the home for the first classroom session, she could hear the boy whimpering for her to go away and pleading for Jaime Day to tell her to go away. Vincent said the boy wouldn't come close to her and had no interaction with her. She said during the classroom sessions, Jaime Day would often sit on the couch. 

At the end of one session, Vincent said she asked Jaime Day if she could give the boy a treat. She said Jaime Day responded by saying that she could, but that the boy wouldn't eat anything but rice, noodles or grits. Vincent said she gave the boy a treat and he unwrapped it and sat it on the table, but didn't eat it.

Vincent said that on Feb. 18, 2010, she walked down the hall of the Day house prior to starting a classroom session and noticed something that looked like a rope in Jaime Day's hand and something that looked like a collar on the boy. 

Vincent said she was in disbelief at what she thought she was seeing, saying, "it was like a time warp or something … surely I didn't see that … who does that."  She said she can't even recall how she got back to the table where she was going to be holding class that day.

During cross examination, Vincent read from evidence documented as her running log on the boy through the homebound program. She read portions of her entry from the day of Feb. 18, 2010 where she wrote that there was no rope on the boy and that she doesn't think she actually saw what she thinks she saw. She also wrote in that observation that after talking more with Jaime Day, she believed that the boy's surroundings and past were disturbing but she anticipated working with him more to get him the help he needed.

Vincent also read from her observations that her first impressions of parental abuse may have been incorrect.

Vincent, who is a mandatory reporter, testified that she did not report anything other than what is documented in her observations on either Feb. 18 or Feb. 19.

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