Update: Abigail Young is found guilty in Harris County of recklessly causing her daughter Emma’s deadly injuries by omission.
Defense lawyers for a Harris County mother accused of failing to protect her daughter from a fatal beating and rape rested their case this morning without calling the woman to testify.
“Didn’t need to,” said Julie Ketterman, attorney for Abigail Young. “I don’t think they proved their case.”
Ketterman and prosecutors are now preparing to deliver their final arguments later today in Young’s trial on a charge that she caused 4-year-old Emma Thompson serious bodily injury by omission. Young’s boyfriend, Lucas Coe, is set to stand trial later this summer on a charge of super aggravated sexual assault.
The final witness in Young’s trial today was her 12-year-old Laura Duty, who testified by video. She told jurors that Emma suffered two serious falls on June 27, 2009, the day she died, while in Lucas Coe’s care. The first fall was in the family kitchen, where Emma hit her head on a bench, the child testified. The second fall came in the bathroom, where Emma hit her head on a toilet, she said.
Emma arrived dead at an emergency room with 80 bruises and a fractured skull. If convicted, Young faces up to life in prison.
According to prosecutors, Young began having an affair with Coe in 2008, while married to her second husband and Emma’s father, Ben Thompson. Coe was facing a pending and unrelated child abuse charge when the two began seeing each other.
Prosecutors have said that as Emma began showing signs of sexual abuse, including a diagnosis of genital herpes three weeks before her death, Young lied to authorities, including denying she was seeing someone.
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