Family speaks out in Lufkin counselors' perjury trial

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) –  Day 3 of the trial of two Lufkin counselors charged with perjury continues. The state said they rest for the time being. The charges stem from a taped conversation with a client. Juanda Morgan and Mark Sutton are accused of lying on the stand in a 2008 child custody hearing.

For Martha and Keith Sutton, watching their son and daughter-in-law stand trial for perjury charges is devastating.

"It's almost like torture," said Keith.

"I think it's cast a gloom over the family," said Martha.

Last Christmas Eve, Mark Sutton was arrested. "Holidays haven't been quite the same," said Martha.

Sutton's wife, Juanda Morgan, was arrested two days before Christmas 2008. Both counselors are accused of lying under oath in an April 2008 child custody hearing. During that hearing Morgan testified a client displayed aggressive behavior; however, the state says that's not true and they have a tape of the incident in question to prove it.

"That they could go down because of an opinion or whether they spoke loudly or softly," said Keith. "To me, it's a travesty of justice."

As the Suttons continue to watch this trial unfold, they fear the worst. "They have their whole livelihood. Mark and Juanda they will lose their license, they will not be able to practice their counseling service. It's like a huge weight hanging over my head," said Keith.

"I will be devastated. I just think it cannot be," said Martha.

Morgan is expected to take the stand in her defense. The prosecutors say the trial could go to the jury by sometime Friday.

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