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Sam Penrod ReportingThe trial has lasted a month, now a jury is deliberating in the child abuse case of Richard and Jennette Killpack. The couple is accused of killing their young daughter by forcing her to drink too much water.
The jury began deliberating this afternoon. Over the last five weeks they've heard a very complicated legal case and now will have to decide if the parents of the young girl recklessly caused her death because of child abuse.
Richard and Jennette Killpack left the courtroom just before 1:00 this afternoon to await the jury's verdict. The couple is accused of child abuse homicide and child abuse in the death of their four-year old daughter Cassandra, back in June of 2002.
During the trial prosecutors introduced evidence that the girl was forced to drink so much water as a punishment, it caused her brain to swell and killed her. In closing arguments today, prosecutors called what happened 'torture" and said, "There is no excuse to force water down the throat of a four-year old. They knew it was dangerous, but they did it anyway."
But defense attorneys maintain the Killpacks were doing their best to deal with severe behavior problems the girl had, from being severely abused before she was adopted. And they insist that the water was part of a therapy program to help the girl.
Because the jury has so much evidence to go through and heard from so many witnesses, it is expected it may be another day or two before a verdict is reached in the case.