Local News

Jun 7, 2014 12:13 AM by Bart Bedsole - bbedsole@kristv.com

Closing Arguments In Sanders Child Abuse Case

CORPUS CHRISTI - A jury will resume deliberating next week whether a couple is guilty of several counts of injury to a child and drug possession.

Friday, defense attorneys tries to characterize Heather and Ryan Sanders as victims themselves, claiming they were victims of their own poverty that required them to live out of their own car, claiming Heather was a victim of post partum depression, and claiming that both are victims of an illegal search and seizure by police and illegal questioning without attorney's present.

"What they did is just completely wrong. There's no other way to say it. It's just wrong what happened to these guys," said Mark Gonzales to the jury.

Prosecutors, however, told the jury that the only real victims are the couple's three toddlers and a newborn, who were dangerously malnourished at the time they finally went to Driscoll Children's Hospital, who were forced to witness their parents using methamphetamine every day while living in that suv on the beach, and who were forced to sit and sleep in car seats without cushions that left the kids with obvious injuries.

"This is about two self indulgent immature adults that made some really bad choices, really bad," said prosecutor Brittany Jensen.

Jensen say the parents could have left the kids with their grandmother as they had in the past, but because they dragged them along, they recklessly caused injuries that could have been fatal.

Judge Angelica Hernadez is out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so the jury will instead return Thursday to continue combing over the facts of the case.

Hernandez said she didn't feel comfortable allowing another judge to answer any questions the jury may have during deliberations.

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