LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A 17-year-old girl testified Monday, in the first day of a Lufkin woman's trial, that her mother duct-taped her wrists and mouth and burned her with a curling iron.
Kathy Taylor, 38, is on trial, charged with injury to a child.
Her teenage daughter told jurors the duct tape her mother used would leave rings and tape residue on her wrists.
"I still love my mother very much, I do still have a lot of anger toward it," the girl said. "I'm still never going to hate her."
According to a signed complaint, a Child Protective Services investigator contacted the Angelina County Sheriff's Office on March 23, 2010, about a report of physical and mental abuse from three people.
In an interview at Angelina Alliance for Children, the alleged victim talked about how she and two other people had been abused by Taylor for a number of years.
Monday afternoon, Taylor's 13-year-old daughter testified she used to be absent from school a lot and is only in sixth grade because she has missed so much class time. She said her absences were usually because her mom wanted her to stay at the house because her mom was scared to be home alone. She claims she was even in court at one point for missing school so much.
The middle school student claimed her mother abused her.
"She started hitting my sister and threatened that she would drive us into a lake and kill all three of us," said the little girl.
The sixth grader recalled a visit she had with Child Protective Services.
Alston showed the witness pictures CPS had taken to document her injuries.
"Those were when I was actually hit by an extension cord," the girl said. "Mostly it was because either the house wasn't clean enough for her or we weren't doing what we were supposed to do."
The girl said when she and her siblings got in trouble, her mom would bind their hands, feet and mouths with duct tape and hit them with an extension cord. The girl testified her mother would also sit on them at times when she was whipping them.
"I was hit with her fist like a couple times," the girl testified. The witness said her mother started punching her after she didn't get to the phone in time.
She said she waited so long to report it because she was scared.
"It hurts," she said saying that she couldn't look in her mom's direction.
Taylor's attorney, Kamisha Mickey, began questioning the girl about her grades since she no longer lives with her mom.
The defense attorney questioned her about the chores her mother made her do.
The girl said her mother told her she couldn't go to her dad's house because he didn't pay child support.
"You never thought he [your dad] would protect you if you told him what was going on?" asked Mickey.
The child said she could not trust anyone.
Mickey pointed out that the numerous times the child went to the doctor, they never made note of any marks.
Taylor's attorney continued questioning the girl about the alleged incidences and asked the girl if her mom would usually cut them free and she said yes.
"She had her times of being a good mother," said the girl. She said she has more freedoms at her father's house.
The prosecution pointed out that the child talked to authorities at school, while she was still in her mother's custody.
Robert Cheshire, a former CPS employee, testified about an interview he was involved in when they were investigating the children's abuse claims against Taylor.
He explained how they worked to find a place for the children to go after their interview. He said they did not want to immediately place the children in the care of their father because they wanted to do a more thorough background check on him first.
The former CPS worker walked the jurors through photos of injuries on the children. He claimed they were consistent with bruising that could have occurred from being hit with an electrical cord.
The man testified there are times when people come forward and no evidence of abuse turns up, so they do have false reports from time to time.
Assistant District Attorney Julie Alston pointed out CPS requested that this case be prosecuted because of the amount of evidence that they had.
According to a December KTRE report, District Judge Barry Bryan rejected a plea deal between the two sides. Taylor had agreed to a probation sentence, Alston said, but Bryan said he would not accept a plea agreement that did not include prison time.