Woman testifies in dad's murder trial
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The trial for a man accused of killing his three-year-old son is almost over.
Both sides are getting ready for closing arguments in the murder trial of Roderick Fountain. On Tuesday, the jury heard some of the most damaging evidence from the mother of Fountain's son, and it was very difficult tesitmony. A lot of jurors had their heads down as three Kendrick Jackson's mother was crying on the stand.
Keyanna Jackson said the last time she saw Kendrick alive, he had a bump on his head and a bruised lip. Fountain said the boy had fallen down the stairs but she said something didn't add up.
But there are a lot more questions about this story.
Keyanna Jackson said her son was the love of her life. She said the father and son never bonded and Fountain showed little interest in the boy. His only emotion, she said, was anger when Kendrick cried.
On a visit to Greenspoint Mall in 2005, she said Fountain took the boy to the mall bathroom.
"Kendrick was tearing up. Roderick says he wet himself. He was mad," Jackson said.
"What happened in the store?" a prosecutor asked her.
"Roderick punched him in the chest," Jackson said.
"Soft or hard?"
The most chilling testimony was when Jackson described, while crying at times, when she found Fountain holding her son's head underwater in the bathtub.
"I said what are you doing?" Jackson recalled.
"What did he do?" the prosecutor asked.
"He turned to me and gave me an evil look. I'd never seen it before," she said.
And yet Keyanna Jackson never called for help, never told anyone about her allegations of abuse -- not even in the days after Kendrick vanished.
Under cross examination, the defense asked, "Why didn't you tell police these things?"
"I don't recall," she said.
"You said you wanted a father figure in his life?" the defense asked her.
"I wanted his biological father to be his father figure," she said.
"You chose Roderick over your child?"
Keyanna Jackson was not charged with injury to a child by omission by failing to report abuse, but it was the unspoken question in the courtroom for many and it may also overshadow her testimony, says KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy.
"It makes her in the minds of many people a horrible person for not turning in someone who's beating and trying to drown your child. Does it go to her credibility, her truthfulness? I think it does," Androphy said.
The defense is not expected to call any witnesses and his lawyers say this case is just based on circumstantial evidence.
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday then the case will be handed to the jurors. If convicted, Fountain could spend life in prison for felony murder.
local, deborah wrigley
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