Update: Two of Terry Sturgis' sons testify in 2nd day of - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Update: Two of Terry Sturgis' sons testify in 2nd day of trial


In the second day of proceedings in the Terry Sturgis trial, the jury heard from two of his other boys.  They also heard from his niece who lived in the same home as Terry and his children.

Terry Sturgis faces 14 counts relating to the death of his son, Tramelle, and the battery of a second son.

The prosecution and Sturgis' 14-year-old son, went through a timeline of the night that Tramelle Sturgis died.  He said that his father hit both him and Tramelle with a stick and burned them with an iron. 

The boy also recounted some other instances when he says he was beaten by his father.  He mentioned one instance where he had to be taken to Memorial Hospital and received twelve stitches.

He also talked about two times when Department of Child Services workers came to their home.  "I wanted to try and tell, because I got sick and tired of getting beaten every day," but Sturgis' 14-year-old son says he did not tell DCS workers about what was happening to him.  He said Terry Sturgis told the boys to lie to DCS workers.

During his testimony several jurors could be seen crying.  After a short break in his testimony jurors returned to the courtroom with tissues in their hand.

A handful of pictures were shown to the jury of the 14 year old boys injuries, including bruises and burns.

Tramelle Sturgis' nine year old brother also testified about the night his Tramelle Sturgis died.  As he walked into the courtroom several jurors smiled at the young boy.  He recounted that the night his brother died he and his siblings were doing what they usually do when, "My dad came down with that stick.  He started whoopin us."  He  said an older female cousin continued his "whoopin" upstairs after his father, Terry Sturgis, told her to.  Once she saw blood, he said the cousin stopped.

When asked by the Prosecutor what the worst thing was that happened to him that night Tramelle died he responded with, "getting whipped by the exercise machine that was metal."

A female cousin who lived on the second floor of the home where the Sturgis' lived also testified Friday.  She called Tramelle a "smart little boy."  She told the jury that she and Tramelle like to write songs with each other and even had names for one another.  She called Tramelle "young Melle Melle." 

The cousin testified that the Sturgis boys did get in trouble a lot but she said she never saw her uncle, Terry Sturgis, be physical with them.  She also said that before Tramelle's death she only ever saw a couple bruises on the boys.

When asked by the prosecutor if she ever heard her grandmother talk to her uncle, Terry Sturgis, about the beatings she said yes, "She would ask him not to whoop em.  She would tell him to stop that he's gonna kill one of em."

The defense asked her if Terry Sturgis was always mean to the kids she responded by saying no, "My uncle still loves kids."

The trial will continue Monday.


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