Officers take stand Wednesday in trial of man accused in 2015 drowning death of 3-year-old boy

Officers take stand Wednesday in trial of man accused in 2015 drowning death of 3-year-old boy

ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Opening statements got underway Wednesday in the trial of a man accused in the drowning death of a 3-year-old boy in 2015.

Bobby Woods Jr., 21, is charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Mason Cuttler. According to the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office, Woods has previously confessed to his role in Cuttler’s death.

After opening statements Wednesday morning, two law enforcement officers were called to the stand to testify.

One of the officers, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper, explained to the jury the process of searching for Cuttler when he was originally reported missing in Aug. 2015. The trooper told the jury the search lasted for hours before they found Cuttler’s body in one of the two ponds on the property where the boy lived.

Bobby Woods, Jr. speaks with his lawyer, John Tunnell, before opening statements got underway in his capital murder trial. Woods is accused of pushing his girlfriend's 3-year-old nephew, Mason Cuttler, into a pond where he drowned in 2015. (Source: Khyati Patel, KTRE)
Bobby Woods, Jr. speaks with his lawyer, John Tunnell, before opening statements got underway in his capital murder trial. Woods is accused of pushing his girlfriend's 3-year-old nephew, Mason Cuttler, into a pond where he drowned in 2015. (Source: Khyati Patel, KTRE)

The jury also heard from a game warden who was part of the search team. In an emotional moment, he explained to the jury how he used a tool called a ‘pitch-drag’ to helps locate things below the water’s surface. The game warden said it was difficult to use the same tool to pull Cuttler’s small body out of the water.

Mason Cuttler’s aunt, Billie Jean Cuttler, 23, of Leesville, Louisiana, was also charged with capital murder in the boy’s death. In June, she pleaded guilty to a lesser charger of second-degree felony conspiracy to commit murder as part of the plea deal, according to Angelina County District Attorney Joe Martin.

If Cuttler complies with the conditions of her plea deal, her sentence would be 20 years in prison, Martin said.

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