Jerice Hunter's teen daughter takes the stand in murder trial
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -
It was a painful day Thursday in the murder trial of Glendale mom Jerice Hunter, with her now 17-year-old daughter -- and the prosecution's star witness -- taking the stand. The teen talked about what the state contends were the final days of her little sister's life.
Prosecutors say Hunter killed her 5-year-old daughter, Jhessye Shockley, and threw the body in the garbage, while the defense team argues the child may have been abducted. Jhessye's body has never been found.
Before taking the stand, the teen shocked everyone in the courtroom when she walked up to the defense table and, in front of the jury, gave her mother a big, emotional hug.
No cameras were allowed in the courtroom Thursday as the teen told jurors how her mom took Jhessye into the master bedroom one day for a spanking over homework and then kept the child in the closet for days.
"I went in there, and she was crying," the teen said. "She was hurt, I guess."
The teen told prosecutors Jhessye had bruises all over her body.
"She had black, like, stuff coming out of her eyes, like glue," she said. "She wanted me to take her to the bathroom, but she couldn't really walk that much, so we took her to the bathroom."
The teen then told jurors that when her mom was away, she slipped into the bedroom to give her younger sister some food and water.
"She looked like she was, like, weak," the teen said. "She was still moving, but she really wasn't moving that much."
The teen said she never saw Jhessye come out of the closet.