Testimony in the jury trial for the Lufkin man accused of brutally beating a
3-year-old boy to death in December 2010 got underway Tuesday morning.
The trial is being held in the 217th Judicial District Court.
Kerry Jock Woodard, 27, is accused of causing multiple injuries to the
child, including a lacerated liver, a contusion on the lung, hemorrhages in the
eyes and spinal cord, subdural hematomas of the brain, and more than 100
documented contusions and abrasions on the head, torso, legs, and arms.
It happened while Woodard was watching the child, Zikeishun Lane, while the
mother was working. The child was originally treated for the injuries at a
Lufkin hospital in December 2010, and he later died at a Houston hospital.
In his opening statements, prosecutor Art Bauereiss explained to jurors
Woodard was dating the child's mother Valerie Mosby. The couple lived together
and it had become a routine for them the take Zikeishun to Woodard's mother's
house, after dropping of the child Woodward would take his girlfriend to work.
Bauereiss told jurors on December 6, 2010, Woodard's routine changed. At
some point during the day, Woodard returned to his mother's home to pick up
Zikeishun. Later that night, when Woodard picked up Mosby from work, Zikeishun
was in the back seat. Upon returning to their shared residence, Woodard carried
the boy inside while Mosby went inside.
Bauereiss explained to jurors that when Woodard brought the child into the
house, he screamed, "He's not breathing." Zikeishun's mother tried
CPR, but was unsuccessful. The couple then took the child to the Memorial
Health System of East Texas ER.
After Zikeishun was revived, medical staff contacted Angelina County
authorities because the severe bruising on his body made it clear he had been
According to the prosecutor, Woodard's story changed several times. When
questioned, he first told authorities that he and the child's mother picked up
the child. Then Woodard claimed he visited a friend in Nacogdoches and then
came home to watch Monday Night Football. He changed his story again, saying he
went to Nacogdoches to watch the football game, Bauereiss, said.
Mosby took the stand toward the end of Tuesday's testimony. She explained
that Zikeishun, or Zi, was born on August 4, 2007 and that his biological
father, Zachary Lane stayed involved in his son's life after the couple split
When asked what Zikeishun was like, Mosby said, "He was a big fan of
video games. He liked football, playing with balls. he was very active and
Responding to questions from Bauereiss, Mosby said that she moved to
Nacogdoches in early 2010, and that it was there that she met Woodard. During
that time, she was working at the Nacogdoches Kroger and going to school at
Angelina College. Mosby said that while she was away from home, Zikeishun
stayed at day care facilities in Nacogdoches. She added there was never any indication
of abuse from the day care providers or from the little boy's biological
Mosby said shortly after she moved in with Woodard at a trailer on FM 843 in
Angelina County, Zikeishun's biological father took the boy back to San
Augustine. When asked what precipitated the move, she said she had been
notified by Child Protective Services that Woodard was a registered sex
"Did that give you some concern?" Bauereiss asked.
"Yes, sir," Mosby said.
Then she admitted to staying with Woodard because she was "in
love" with him. However, Mosby testified that she went to San Augustine
and got her son back from his biological father in October 2010 and added,
"I was needing my son."
Later that year, Mosby went to work for the Lufkin State-Supported Living
Center, working the 2-10:30 p.m. shift. She said that she and Woodard were
usually a one-vehicle family. Their normal routine was that she would get up
around 10 and feed Zikeishun before she got ready. Then Woodard would usually
drop her off at work and pick her up when she got off in the evening. Along the
way, they would drop the boy off at Woodard's parent's home on Ramsey Road.
Mosby said that Mary Woodard would often keep several of Zikeishun's cousins
as well. She said that she never had occasion to leave the state school to
check up on Zikeishun. In addition, she said that when she was home, she tried
to make sure that Woodard was never alone with her son.
"I would always be around," she said.
Mosby admitted that Woodard would often have Zikeishun in the car with him
when he came to pick her up from work. She said that happened as often as four
times a week. Normally, he would park in a certain place and have rap music
blaring from the car's stereo.
"Why did you stay with him after the CPS warned you about him?"
"I was scared at the time, controlled," Mosby said.
The routine changed on Dec. 6, 2010. Mosby said that she was struck by the
fact that Woodard didn't park in his usual spot, and there was no audible
When Mosby went out the car, Zikeishun looked asleep to her. She testified
that she didn't try to hug or kiss the little boy and that nothing seemed out
of the ordinary. Upon getting home, Mosby went inside without taking her son
out of the car because she had a toothache. She said Woodard brought Zikeishun
in that day, and she went straight to her pre bedtime grooming routine -
cleaning up and taking a bath.
Not long after she started taking a bath, Woodard came in and told her that
she needed to do CPR on Zikeishun, saying, "He's not breathing."
"How'd that make you feel?" Bauereiss asked.
"Straight shock," Mosby said. "I went straight to him and
called his name, and he was unresponsive."
After Mosby got dressed, she and Woodard rushed Zikeishun to the Memorial
Health System of East Texas ER. She said that, at the time, she didn't see any
signs of bruising or injury on her son's body.
When asked if anything else about that day seemed odd, Mosby said that
Woodard called her at work and said that he was going to pick Zikeishun up from
his parents' house a little early to make it easier when it came time for him
to pick her up from work.
Mosby said she only heard "bits and pieces" of Zikeishun's
condition from the doctors at Memorial. She didn't realize just how serious things
were until they told her they were going to life-flight her son to a Houston
"I knew that it had to be pretty bad," Mosby said.
Later that evening, Woodard drove Mosby to the Angelina County Sheriff's
Office. She testified that along the way, he told her, "I'm a registered
sex offender, and I can't be around kids." Then he allegedly told Mosby
that she needed to tell investigators that she had been the one driving.
"What did you think about that?" Bauereiss asked.
"At the time, I was scared, so I did it," Mosby said.
The next morning, on the drive down to Houston, Woodard and Mosby discussed
possible scenarios for what might have caused Zikeishun's injuries. At one
point, Woodard allegedly said, "What if he fell?"
At the Houston hospital she went into a private room with Zikeishun's
biological father, and the doctor told them that the boy probably wasn't going
to make it. Woodard wasn't in on the meeting with the doctors, Mosby said.
When asked if Zikeishun looked any different the last time she saw him,
Mosby said, "He was just laying unconscious. He had a mark under his eye,
and I saw a few bruises on his stomach. I saw a few scratches on his head and
After Mosby said her goodbyes to her son, she agreed to allow Zikeishun to
be an organ donor. At that point, doctors took the 3-year-old off life support.
Later Bauereiss asked Mosby if she inflicted the injuries on her son.
"No, sir," she replied.
Under questioning from the prosecutor, Mosby said that when she disciplined
her son, she would "spank him, tap him on the hand, talk to him."
Bauereiss then asked if Mosby had ever seen Woodard discipline Zikeishun. She
replied that her ex-boyfriend would "just swat him down, hit him."
Later, she admitted that Woodard didn't like the fact that Zikeishun whined too
much. She also said he took exception to the amount of time she spent with her
"He would say, 'Don't baby him," Mosby said.
Later, Mosby admitted to lying to Angelina County Sheriff's Office deputies
and special investigators with the CPS. She said that she lied about picking
Zikeishun up at Mary Woodard's house on Dec. 6, 2010 and when she told one of
the investigators that she threw her son against her couch because she was
frustrated with him.
Toward the end of Tuesday's testimony, Bauereiss played a recording of a
cell phone conversation that Mosby had with Woodard in January 2011. At the
time, she was using a prepaid cell phone and a digital recording device that
had been provided to her by Davey Hill, who had been working as an ACSO
investigator at that time.
On the recording, Woodard said that "everyone" was saying he
killed Zikeishun, and said he was trying to figure it out as well.
"They're trying to put it on me," he said on the recording.
During the long, rambling conversation filled with vulgarities, Mosby tried
several times to get Woodard to explain what happened to her son. At one point
in the conversation, Mosby said, "Do you understand my baby died? My baby
On the recording, Woodard said investigators tried to tell him that Mosby
hurt Zikeishun and that he defended her. "Nobody beat that baby or
nothin,'" Woodward said on the recording. "It was an accident. I'm
still (expletive) up, messed up. Later, Woodard suggested that Zikeishun fell off
a "damn tricycle."
Bauereiss also entered a text conversation between Woodard and Mosby into
evidence. The text conversation also took place on the sheriff's office prepaid
phone. In it, Woodard accused Mosby of working with law enforcement to
"get him," and told her that he still loved her.
Toward the end of his questioning of Mosby, Bauereiss asked her, "Did
you ever think that you should step back, that 'my baby's in danger?'" In
a quiet voice, Mosby replied, "Yes, sir."
During his cross examination, defense attorney Al Charanza got Mosby to
admit that Zachary Lane had taken her son away and that he had called CPS with
allegations that Woodard was sexually abusing Zikeishun. Testimony by two CPS
special investigators said those accusations were later "ruled out."
"How is it that you would let Zachary take your child?" Charanza
The defense attorney also pointed out there was a seven-month period where
she rarely ever saw her son because she was living with Woodard. Mosby replied
that she called the child support authorities several times during that time.
"Weren't you concerned about your son?" Charanza responded.
The first witness to take the stand was ER physician Jerry Jenkins, who
worked to revive Zikeishun in the trauma room. Jenkins said ER physicians gave
the child a breathing tube because he wasn't able to breathe on his own. The ER
physician said doctors ultimately resorted to using pace makers pads because
they couldn't restart the boy's heart.
"We put pace maker pads on his chest, and we just dialed up the gain of
the electrical current that we tried to use to jump start the heart,"
When the child was revived, Jenkins described him as pale. He added that
multiple bruises became visible.
"I was struck with the number of bruises that showed up; we didn't see
those initially because his blood pressure was so low," Jenkins said.
"The magnitude of the bruising was remarkable," Jenkins continued.
Jenkins says the physicians were obligated to notify the authorities because
it appeared the child had suffered abuse.
The prosecution showed jurors pictures of the child's body, after he had
been revived at the hospital. Jenkins explained the bruises that were located
on his arms, legs, and back. In addition Zikeishun had some severe bruising
around his face and head.
Lufkin Police officer, Clay Van Eman testified that he was called to Memorial
about an "unresponsive child." He said that the child was severely
bruised, and that Woodard appeared calm when he talked to the man about what
"It was not something that a normal child could have done to himself
playing or falling," Van Enman said.
ACSO deputy B.J Murphy said he was in disbelief when he saw Zikeishun's
bruised body. He also testified that Woodard's demeanor didn't fit the situation.
"It seemed like Kerry didn't have a care in the world it didn't appear
that it bothered him that she was even upset,"Murphy said.
In contrast, Mosby seemed "completely distraught" and
"hysterical" at the sight of her three-year-old son with severe trauma
and lying in a hospital bed with "tubes down his throat," Murphy
Davey Hill, an ACSO patrol sergeant, was working as an investigator in
December 2010. On the stand, he backed up Murphy's assertion that Mosby was
distraught and hysterical.
At first, Woodard told Hill that Mosby had dropped Zikeishun off at his
parents' house, and that he stayed home all day. Hill testified that Woodard's
first version of the story was that his ex-girlfriend returned home with the
little boy at about 11 p.m. on Dc. 6, 2010.
Although Woodard was cooperative, he was also being evasive during his oral
statement, Hill said. He later testified that he was aware that CPS was
conducting a parallel investigation on Woodard.
"He said he wasn't allowed at his parents' house because of his past
criminal record," Hill said. "He rambled and went off subject and he
told me he was a registered sex offender and couldn't be around children."
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