Wearing a grey shirt and tie, Kevin Goforth took the stand in his own defence Monday, telling the court, “I loved those girls more than anything in the world”.
Kevin and his wife, Tammy, are both on trial for the murder of a four-year-old girl and abuse of a two-year-old girl who were both in their care in 2012.
The courtroom was not as packed Monday as it was to hear Tammy’s testimony on Friday, but he told much the same story.
Married for 23 years, Kevin, now 40, said his his day-to-day life as a carpenter was “busy”, and Tammy did most of the caring for the girls. The couple made a decision, out of respect for the girls and their privacy, that he and his three children would not see the girls undressed. Tammy did all bathing and diaper changes.
Kevin told the court the girls were quiet at first, came to church with them and “were slender with high cheekbones”.
Court has previously heard that the Goforths were given no medical records, nor health cards, for the girls. Up until his preliminary hearing, Kevin had never met the social worker involved in the case, Alicia Ward, nor had any contact with her in person, on the telephone or via email.
Describing when the two-year-old cut her face, Kevin testified it was strange.
“I felt her pain. She was just sitting there, not crying.”
Being methodical in his answers, Kevin testified that he didn’t think the girls shared their toys well, knew few words and occasionally would fight.
Softly crying, he described the night the girls went to hospital.
“My mind was all over the place. My emotions running high, I was freaking out, screaming for help.”
He testified they drove fast to the hospital. Tammy drove, the four-year-old was “limp in my arms, while I whispered her name”.
Wearing just swimming trunks, Kevin was taken to Regina Police Service headquarters where he was questioned for about two days.
He describes himself as being, “scared, crying, upset, lonely, cold, state of shock, I didn’t give clear answers, they put words in my mouth”.
Pushed by his lawyer, Kevin said that he didn’t tell the police the truth, but told court, “I am telling the truth now”.
Shown physical evidence and photos of the girls’ injuries, Kevin did not recognize nor knew where some of the bruising and marks came from.
When asked, he emphatically denied restraining the girls, hurting them or taping them to the wall. He denied that Tammy did anything similar.
Kevin told court that in the two weeks prior to the girls being in hospital, the girls and Tammy were “sickly with high fevers”.
Later in August 2012, Tammy was taken to hospital and received two blood transfusions, which were needed for her diagnosis of severe anemia.
Under cross-examination, Kevin was repeatedly asked why he wouldn’t notice “the girls wasting away before your eyes”.
In relation to the police interview, Kevin was reminded by the Crown that he received bathroom breaks, was given food, water, a jumpsuit to wear, and a sheet to sleep with. Earlier he had said he was left in the swim trunks he went to the hospital in.
As for the injuries on the two girls, the Crown pushed the suggestion that the Goforths chose to do nothing to get the girls their health cards or seek medical treatment for them. Kevin answered “that is a lie”.
When he was asked why he did nothing for nine months, Kevin answered, “neither did Social Services”. The Crown fired back, “they were in your care”.
In reference to the cardboard stained with feces and blood, he was asked why they didn’t simply change the girls’ diapers more often, instead of letting them sit in it.
“You were more concerned about your house”, said Crown lawyer Dana Brule.
Kevin was also asked about the string on the girls’ bedroom door, and explained it was “because of the wandering at night”. The Crown pushed that even in the police interview he stated they used the string when they went outside to do yard work.
In the same police interview, Kevin denied that his wife ever hurt the girls. Brule asked, “you said you weren’t telling the truth for much of that interview, was that a lie”?
The cross-examination continues Tuesday morning.
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 in Trial of Tammy and Kevin Goforth
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
Goforth Trial Day 9: Defence witnesses describe girls’ care in Tammy and Kevin Goforth’s home
Goforth Trial Day 10: Tammy Goforth takes the stand at Regina murder trial