Opening statements made in Woody trial

WICHITA FALLS - Sara Anne Woody pleaded not guilty to 26 counts of child abuse in 30th district court Wednesday before the jury heard attorneys' opening statements.

A dismissed juror told the court she was Woody's primary care physician and had concerns of over doctor-client issues.

Woody is accused of abusing her stepsons, ages seven and 12 at the time of the alleged abuse, in 2016 by burning their tongues with a lighter, and forcing them to lick a toilet bowl among other things.

Prosecutor John Gillespie told jurors he would prove Woody tortured and abused her stepchildren, and harmed other children in the home who witnessed the abuse.

Prosecutors will also try to prove one of Woody's biological children, while not physically tortured, suffered long term mental injury and still has nightmares.

Gillespie said the abuse came to light when the boys' father took the 12-year-old to the emergency room in March of 2016 with a busted lip and black eyes and the doctor saw other signs of abuse.

Medical staff reported that the 12-year-old weighed only 61 pounds when taken from the home and 97% of 12-year-olds weigh more.

Investigators say the boys were tortured many times for taking food.

Police say after the abuse was reported, they got a search warrant and found vinegar, tent poles, spoons and other items described by the boys.

The defense attorney told jurors Woody was a good and loving mother and he will show them that the children are lying, and why.

The defense attorney said Woody, who was was pregnant at the time of the allegations,  should be found not guilty on all counts.

Sara's husband, Jonathan is also charged in this case and is expected to testify for the prosecution.

Testimony resumes Thursday morning.


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