Thursday, September 4, 2014

Custodial dad on trial in torture death of 11-year-old daughter; non-custodial mom testifies (Sarasota, Florida)

We're followed this case for a time. But this is the only time I know of where the mother of  the murdered girl has been allowed to speak publicly. According to earlier articles, dad KENNETH STODDARD stripped the mother of custody and moved the girl out of state to Florida. From then these sick pups proceeded to torture the girl until she died. Pulling her out of school was a great way to discourage witnesses, so of course they did that too.

Father on trial in death of autistic daughter

Posted: Sep 03, 2014 5:28 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 03, 2014 6:25 PM EDT

By: Anjuli Davis, FOX 13 News

SARASOTA (FOX 13) - The father of a special needs child who died in December 2012 is now standing trial in relation to her death.

Kenneth Stoddard is facing charges of aggravated manslaughter, tampering with evidence, and aggravated child abuse.

Investigators say Kenneth and his wife, Misty Stoddard, routinely tied up his autistic daughter to a wooden board and duct taped her mouth shut.

Eleven-year-old Melissa Stoddard died months after moving in with them from suffocation. Misty Stoddard was convicted of first-degree murder in June.

On Wednesday, Melissa's biological mother took the stand. While Lisha Stoddard said her daughter was known to have outbursts, she says she was a loving and chatty child while in a controlled environment.

"Her behavior at the peak, she'd run around the house, she'd sing songs. She'd do all her tasks, all her school and at home. She was more like a normal kid," Lisha Stoddard said Wednesday.

Her teacher at Oak Park School, Paul Squeo, said Melissa thrived in the classroom. "She improved greatly.

She started understanding the contingency between work and reward," Squeo said.

But Squeo said Kenneth Stoddard didn't approve of the discipline technique. Melissa was pulled out of school weeks later, and dead by December.

Wednesday, prosecutors worked to prove that Melissa did not self-inflict any of the injuries found on her body.

Kenneth Stoddard is expected to take the stand on Thursday. The trial is expected to continue the rest of the week.