Braggs Woman's Child Abuse Trial Continues

Tuesday, October 31st 2006, 2:01 am
By: News On 6

Testimony resumes Wednesday in the case of Muskogee County mother accused of child abuse and neglect.

Investigators call it one of the worst cases they've seen. Prosecutors say Melanie Smith and two other family members beat, starved, and tortured Smith's 4-year-old son. It included taping weights to his hands and forcing him to hold them above his head until he collapsed. They're also accused of taping the boy's mouth, wrists, and ankles and locking him in the closet at night.

Unlike some pictures taken a few years ago, jurors saw hospital exam photos of the child's malnourished body, covered in bruises.

Muskogee County DA John Luton: "it sickens you. It can't help but affect you. You just don't see this. We don't treat our animals like this."

Defense attorneys say the boy had a history of injuring himself.

Jurors are expected to see a tape of the child's interview with investigators Wednesday.