Victim testifies in Day's cruelty to a juvenile trial

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A boy prosecutors claim was severely abused by his stepmother testified in court that she beat him, starved him and told him

to tell others he was hurting himself.

The boy, now 12 years old and turning 13 Thursday, testified over a video feed from a separate room of 14th Judicial District

Court than the one in which Jaime Brooks Day’s trial is being held.

Day, 31, 2841 Southern Ridge Road, , is standing trial on one count of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. She was arrested

in March 2010, along with her husband, Murry Dalton Day, 33. Murry Day is being prosecuted separately.

The boy, who was 9 years old in March 2010, testified for more than an hour, telling the jury that Day abused him often, even

forcing him to eat his own feces. He said he was fed a diet of “Ramen noodles, grits and rice.”

“She would do any kind of thing to hurt me,” he said.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Walt Sanchez said there was “a rush to judgement about Jaime Day and it has permeated

everything we’ve dealt with.”

He said there was also a rush to judgement about the boy and “how he got in this condition and that’s the real evidence in

this case.”

The boy is an “incredibly ill, bright, manipulative child,” Sanchez said.

Photos taken of the boy the day he was brought to the hospital and in the days soon after showed him badly bruised.

When he was brought to the hospital, he had “obvious signs” of physical abuse, said Dr. Edgar McCandless, who saw the boy

several times in the year following the Days’ arrests. He had a bruise over his left eye, a blister on his left ear, a burn

scar on his back, ligature marks on his ankles, a busted lip and his temperature was in the low 90s.

He was malnourished, dehydrated and showed signs of hypothermia, McCandless said.

Hair had begun growing all over the boy’s body, including his face and back, which “happens when folks are badly malnourished,”

the doctor said.

The boys stomach stuck out prominently, as did his knees, he was badly constipated from not eating enough, he had swelling

in his legs and he had a diaper rash, McCandless said.

McCandless said when the boy was in the hospital he wanted “to eat everything in sight.”

Photos of his bedroom, where only a pallet lined one side of the room and a small pile of things lined the other was also

shown in court.

Sanchez asked Lt. Michael Primeaux, head of Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office sex crimes division if the boy said he had been

throwing himself against furniture and if the family was told to remove the furniture from his room.

Primeaux answered “yes” to both.

Photos of the blood-stained mattress on which he was found were also shown.

There were two younger children in the home as well, but they were not abused, the boy said. The younger children were Day’s

biological children. Prosecutors said Murry Day was often away working.

Jaime Day told him to act erratically away from the home, the boy said.

“The junk that she did to me, she made me say I did it to myself,” he said. “She wanted me to look psychotic.”

Prosecutor Lori Nunn asked the boy to explain how he got scars on his body.

Day hit him with a chipped dust pan, causing a scar on his lip, he said. She put a butterfly bandage and Neosporin on it,

he said.

He said another scar on his lip, in the shape of an X, was from Day throwing a screwdriver at him because he had used his

brother’s shampoo.

A scar on his abdomen was from Day burning him with a blowdryer, the boy said. He said a cup on the edge of the bathtub had

left a water ring and when he bent over to wash his hair, his shirt got wet. Day said she was going to dry the shirt, then

held the blowdryer close enough to burn him, he said.

A bruise on his back was from Day kicking him more than three times when he failed to do jumping jacks correctly, the boy

said.

Day wanted him to walk down the hallway a certain way, he said.

When he developed a welp on his back, Day microwaved rice in a sock then put it on his back, the boy said. She held it there

while he screamed, he said.

“I was saying ‘take it off, take it off,’ ” he said.

When the burn blistered, Day put him in the bathtub and popped the blister, he said. She scrubbed it with a sponge to clean

it, he said.

“It hurt worse than when she burned me,” he said.

The boy said Day had once had one of her younger children help her Saran wrap him to the bed to keep him from leaving the

room to try to get food.

“They wanted me to starve to death,” he said.

A dog leash was used to tie the door shut so he could not leave, he said.

Day once hung him upside down by his ankles in the bathroom while she bathed with the younger boys, he said. When Murry called

to say he was on his way home, Day let the boy down and he hit his head on the toilet, he said.

He said while he was fed a diet of Ramen noodles, grits and rice with “lots of, lots of salt,” the other children were allowed

to eat spaghetti, chicken nuggets and french fries. Day often ate Chinese or Mexican food, he said. The boy said Day would

sometimes “tease” him by letting him sit at the table while the others ate, but not letting him eat.

The boy said Day once made him eat a handful of salt without a drink.

“She said it kills brain cells and if my brain stops working I would die,” he said.

He said he was made to eat his own “poop” and drink his own urine, and sometimes did those things because he was hungry or

thirsty.

“I had to survive,” he said.

When Nunn asked him why he had once said he wanted to be reborn in Day’s belly, he said it was because he believed that’s

why he was being abused.

“I wasn’t her real child,” he said.

When police found the boy in 2010, he reportedly weighed 38 pounds, was wearing a diaper and was lying on a pallet in the

corner.

Primeaux testified that he had visited the home in 2009 when the boy was reported as bruised, but the boy claimed he had fallen

off his father’s bicycle.

Sheriff’s deputies returned to the home following a report from the boy’s aunt.

A counselor at his school testified that she called authorities because he was so skinny and was bruised.

She said a “red flag” went up when she asked him about Day and he refused to look at her while repeating “Jaime’s good to

me.”

The counselor said when she talked to Day, Day said the boy was a liar and manipulative.

Nunn asked the boy why he did not tell anyone that he was being abused.

“If I told them the truth, she would have beat me some more,” he said.

The boy said Day told him to throw temper tantrums and “act crazy” at school. Day told him to hit himself in the head with

“The Jungle Book” in front of his father, he said.

“If I disobeyed her, she would hurt me or beat me or try to kill me,” he said.

After he was removed from the Day home, the boy lived with two foster mothers, both of whom he admitted telling he was going

to kill them. He admitted he told his first foster mother that he would kill her and “do what I did to Jaime.”

He said me made those statements because Jaime told him how to act when police arrived to take him away.

Day told him to misbehave, scratch his face and act “psycho,” he said.

“When I found out I was not going to go back, that’s when I actually started telling the truth and not Jaime’s stories,” he

said.

In her opening statement, Nunn said the boy had a “highly dysfunctional” upbringing before he went to live with Day. He received

no medical care when he broke his arm at age 6; when he shot another kid with a BB gun, the other boy’s father took the gun

and pointed it at his head, Nunn said.

Nunn said since Murry Day was often away working, Jaime Day was left to take care of her two kids and her “high-maintenance”

stepson. Day began “targeting” him, beating him and starving him, Nunn said.

Sometime in the year following his release from the hospital, the boy had to be put in a wheelchair because of stress fractures

in his hip, Dr. McCandless said.

The boy also reported hearing voices and nightmares, McCandless said. He would stand over his foster siblings’ beds and “stare

as if in a trance,” McCandless said.

The boy was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for care.