Boy's parents testify in dehydration trial - Dallas News |

Boy's parents testify in dehydration trial

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The woman on trial for child abuse was asked if she gave her 10-year-old stepson access to water before he died of dehydration.

Tina Alberson, 44, is accused of serious bodily injury to a child following the July 2011 death of Jonathan James.

In court on Wednesday, jurors watched video of two police interviews. In the first one Alberson told investigators she had given Jonathan some water.

"I didn't do that. I never said that to him. I didn't do that. He was getting the glasses of water. Whether or not he drank them, I can't tell you because, I was in my chair. He'd go to the sink. I'd hear the water. I'd hear it in the cup and then he'd go over to the table and put the cup to his mouth," she said in the video.

But in the second when she was presented with evidence from an autopsy report, she said clarified her statement and said that she sometimes limited his water intake.

"I obviously did this. I didn't mean to do this," she said.

Alberson told investigators she only limited Jonathan's water intake after 9 p.m. because he had been wetting the bed.  She also said she never saw him acting abnormally before the night of his death.

But, police countered that witnesses in the home told them Alberson wouldn't let Jonathan drink at all and that she made him stand on an X that she marked on the kitchen floor as punishment.

Michael James, the boy's biological father who is also charged in his death, testified about what his wife told him on the night of his death.

"She comes back and looks at me and rolls her eyes and tilts her head back and says, 'He just had his eyes roll back into his head. Call 911,'" he said.

James is handicapped and legally blind. He told the jury he had no idea of any abuse to his son.

"I wasn't aware of how long she had kept water from him," he said.

James told jurors he feels his wife is responsible for Jonathan's death.

"I flat out told her that if anything happens to my son, I'll never forgive her," he said he told her en route to the hospital.

The boy's biological mother, Krista Bishop, tearfully testified about how emergency room doctors tried for two hours to save him, but in the end they had to let him go.

"I said it's time to let him go. You've worked long enough, long and hard, and it's time to let him go," she said.

Alberson held a tissue and appeared to cry both then and as she watched herself on video.

Jonathan's twin brother should take the stand on Thursday.

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