It was a disruptive start to the Goforth trial in Regina Thursday.
It was the ninth day of the trial of Kevin and Tammy Goforth. The Regina couple face charges of second-degree murder in the death of a four-year-old girl who was in their care in 2012. They’re also charged with the abuse of a two-year-old girl.
No sooner had the defence’s first witness taken the stand, an outburst between two people in the public gallery forced a brief recess. The two were swiftly removed by the deputy sheriffs but it spilled into the hallways and the jury had to be removed.
Two teens took the stand, who were pre-teens in 2012 and lived at the Goforth home at the same time as the two girls. A publication ban was placed on the name of the two boys and their relationship to the victims.
The first boy described the girls as “quiet, skinny with chubby cheeks”. The girls were uneasy around unusual people and were soft-spoken.
He testified they would all eat together, “girls ate fast so Tammy would have to slow them down so they wouldn’t choke”.
The witness testified he never saw the girls tied up or taped to wall, and never saw them struck or hit.
The teen told the court the girls scratched their faces, so Tammy put mittens on them to stop them scratching; the tape was “on gloves, not on skin”.
The boy occasionally babysat, but never changed diapers or bathed them.
The witness says he has not talked to the accused about his testimony, just the lawyers involved.
Under cross-examination, the teen didn’t know why the two-year-old was given a bath and fed at midnight the night that the four-year-old was taken to hospital in August 2012. He also didn’t recall any significant smell of feces on the child or in her room.
When asked, the teen remembered little scratches on the girl’s face, but didn’t see a sore on her leg.
The second, younger boy told a similar story.
He recalled Tammy putting a plastic sheet or garbage bag on the girls’ mattress because they would sometimes wet the bed.
Under cross-examination, the Crown pushed that the string on the door documented in police evidence was used to keep the girls’ bedroom door closed and prevent them from getting out. The teen said it was because the “girls snuck out at night to eat food”.
The boy testified the four-year-old would make a mess in kitchen when unsupervised. The Crown asked whether that “prevented her from eating”?
He testified he saw girls having drinks, “water, juice, milk”, and never saw the Goforth’s deny the girls food.
Recalling the night the girls went to hospital, he remembered Tammy screamed and wrapped the four-year-old up in a blanket. Kevin Goforth appeared “shocked”.
Neither boy has lived in the Goforth home since the incident in August 2012.
The trial continues.
News Talk Radio’s ongoing coverage of the trial
Goforth Trial Day 1: Tensions run high in courtroom for murder trial of Tammy and Kevin Goforth
Goforth Trial Day 2: Forensic officers testify about condition of home
Goforth Trial Day 4: ‘Skinny with bruises’: first responders testify about finding girls at Goforth trial
Goforth Trial Day 5: Goforth murder trial hears doctor describe efforts to save 4-year-old girl
Goforth Trial Day 6: Photos of girls’ wounds shown at Goforth trial
Goforth Trial Day 7: Goforth trial hears girls were taped to wall, locked in bedroom
Goforth Trial Day 8: Evidence of being bound: Forensic pathologist testifies at Goforth murder trial