Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Sandra Yi ReportingJohn Daniel Kingston: "I think it's very clear that it's time for all of Heidi's children to go home."
It's been a long, drawn-out hearing, but the Kingston custody case continues, and with a new judge. The hearing centers around John Daniel Kingston and Heidi Mattingly's eight children who are in foster care. A judge is reviewing whether Mattingly should regain custody.
In April Judge Andrew Valdez ruled that Heidi Mattingly has been making progress. She says she's complied with all the court orders. But how much progress has she made? The state says, not enough.
Heidi Mattingly: "I know that they want to go home. I know that the ones that are home are happy to be there."
Later this week the judge will hear from Heidi Mattingly's children.
Heidi Mattingly: "I'm nervous for them. I know it's a scary thing for kids. I think it's important that they have an opportunity to tell the judge how they feel."
John Daniel Kingston: "I think it's time the children had time to speak, and let the children say what they think."
Today Mattingly's credibility was in question. The state said in April, when Mattingly's father died, she violated a no-contact order between Kingston and their children. A judge had allowed Kingston to attend the funeral.
Gary Bell, Heidi Mattingly's Attorney: "It's a funeral for crying out loud. Heidi's father had died. He had passed away. He was being buried."
Mattingly has been in therapy for nine months. But the state says Mattingly has never recognized she needs help, and therefore, can't protect her kids. On the stand Mattingly said there are things she could have done differently, and there are things she plans to do differently.
Heidi Mattingly: "We're still optimistic. We still feel that the best place for my children is home with me. That's where they'll be the most loved and most cared for."
John Daniel Kingston: "The children and their mother have suffered more than any of us could have."
The hearing continues on Thursday and Friday. Again, the judge will hear from the children.
Last week, the state filed a motion to terminate both John Daniel Kingston and Heidi Mattingly's parental rights. The judge has not yet ruled on that.