Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stepp Testimony

News and Observer has a pretty thorough article today on Stepp's testimony.

I try not to reprint other articles, but I though this was worth a read:

"The only way I can explain it is, I don't know, it just like happened, and then I'm there and I'm like, 'What the hell.'"

Stepp talked about trying to put space between him and his stepdaughter after the incident.

"I didn't want something to happen again," Stepp testified, his speech halting. "I didn't want to just lose it and end up hurting her again."

But his older daughter called him back in. Cheyenne had a soiled diaper.

"I had to go in and change her," Stepp said. "I didn't want to, but you can't just leave a kid in a dirty diaper like that."

Stepp testified that when he put Cheyenne down to change her diaper, she was wriggling and kicking, trying to get away from him as he used wipes to clean her.

"I was holding her legs up," Stepp said. "She was just screaming and flailing."

Stepp said he did not sexually assault his stepdaughter.

"Oh God no," he said to one of his lawyer's questions about that allegation.

But he described getting toilet paper after changing Cheyenne's diaper, three or four times, and holding it under a bathroom faucet before returning to the bedroom where the child continued to cry.

"I went back in the room and just shoved it in her mouth," Stepp said. "I thought maybe she'd be quiet."

But she started choking, he said.

"I remember trying to pry her mouth open," he said.

He stuffed his fingers in, knuckle deep, trying to retrieve the toilet paper from her mouth. He was able to retrieve a big clump, he said.

As he picked her up and held her, he noticed how shallowly she was breathing. He put her down, he said, but she did not recover. Her little body seized, he said.

Stepp took the infant from room to room in the apartment as he and his 4-year-old hunted for his phone.

Then he dialed emergency dispatchers."

Mr. Stepp's attorneys do not deny that he is responsible for his child's death. Rather, his defense is that his actions are not first degree murder (no premeditation and deliberation and no sexual assault), but rather second degree murder. If convicted of 1st degree murder, Mr. Stepp could face death.

Read the entire article here.

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