DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Day three of testimony is underway in the trial of a man accused of beating his girlfriend’s young daughter to death — because the child drank her brother’s fruit juice.
Charles Wayne Phifer, 36, is charged with capital murder, accused of killing Leiliana Wright in 2016.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner is expected to testify in the trial today.
Three witnesses had taken the stand by lunchtime Friday. Forensic analyst Kristen Smith testified first and was asked about the crime scene investigation — Leiliana’s DNA was found on a cracked wall.
The 4-year-old’s mother, Jeri Quezada, testified Phifer, her former boyfriend, threw the little girl against the wall.
FBI Special Agent and digital forensic examiner Thomas Tedder told jurors about deleted phone messages found on Quezada’ phone.
Quezada pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child charges last year and will spend 50 years behind bars. As part of that plea deal, she agreed to testify against Phifer. During the investigation, she told Grand Prairie police that she had been abusive as well.
The State is expected to rest it’s case today. Defense attorneys are expected to begin presenting their case this afternoon.
If convicted Phifer will receive an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole.