9:50am – Outside in the hallway of courtroom, Best Interest Attorney for Shannon, Tim Nelson asked if I was the mother and pulled me aside. Stated his social worker states Shannon is a great kid. Requested to know or see the allegations made by Shannon. Allegations timeline was provided for his viewing.
10:05am – Tim Nelson asked about the tattoos and timing of Shannon saying they were temporary tattoos on family members.
Tim Nelson sat and listened to the hearing.
Detective Cornejo took the stand. Mr. Bednarz asked about his number of years of experience. His response was 8 years and previously an officer in Apache Junction. Mr. Bednarz asked about his experience with child abuse cases and Cornejo stated he has worked over 300 cases. Mr. Bednarz asked the approximate time spent with children during the interview and Cornejo responded CPS interview lasted 20-25 minutes. Cornejo offered he cannot speak to children under age 7 and brings them to CPS. Bednarz asked if this was typically the case and Cornejo responded yes this is generally the case. Bednarz asked if he felt a crime was committed and Cornejo replied there was no evidence or no probably cause of a crime. Bednarz asked when the investigation was completed and Cornejo said around after the time he had Katie Alfred interviewed about February 20, 2013. Bednarz asked if the allegations were hallucinations or planted allegations. Cornejo stated he did not conclude they were hallucinations so the latter. Bednarz or Hannah asked if CPS concluded that they were planted allegations since they reported it as “fantastic elements” and he almost said yes then said he wasn’t sure and tried reviewing his report of CPS interview.
Judge Hannah asked if he investigated other family for a crime and Cornejo replied that he asked Jane if she received a text and talked to her via telephone and talked to Heather at her school, place of employment regarding the text message sent by Shannon’s mother. Both confirmed texts received – Jane rec’d text saying ‘better get your dick under control’ and Heather rec’d text saying ‘Please help me your brother takes Shannon every time I refuse him sex’.
End of questioning.
Shannon’s mother asked Cornejo to provide comment towards her mom upon entering CPS Abuse Center. Cornejo replied I don’t see how it is relevant but after she refused to take a seat I told her she could go stand on a table. Shannon’s mother asked why he took 15-20 minutes to lead and coach the CPS worker before allowing us to enter and why that could not be done via telephone prior. Cornejo said he can and/or does call sometimes but he does sometimes give them an overview of the case if they request it. Shannon’s mother asked Cornejo if the State of AZ law requires reporting of child abuse. Cornejo responded yes by appropriate parties, i.e., doctors, etc. Shannon’s mother asked the current number of active cases of child abuse being worked. Cornejo replied 14 cases currently working. Shannon’s mother asked how many or what percentage of these cases are considered lies or untrue or no probably cause. Cornejo responded he has done 300 cases that have closed. Shannon’s mother stated are all 300 cases considered untrue allegations by children and he went into explanation of alleged abuse by a female adult and/or bruising of children. Shannon’s mother asked again percentage of child abuse cases considered untrue and not sure of response – Cornejo did not or could not say. Shannon’s mother asked if Shannon reported to CPS that sticks and fingers were put in her butt and that the Uptons were mean to her. Cornejo responded ‘yes’. Shannon’s mother asked if CPS was a stranger to Shannon and if he was a complete stranger to Shannon and he stated ‘yes’. Mother asked if additional allegations were provided to him regarding Shannon having pictures taken of her naked. He responded yes and that he spoke with me about them yesterday on the phone. Mother asked if it is a crime to take naked pictures of children. Cornejo stated it is not a crime unless there is a sexual act being done or unless they are pornographic. Mother asked if he felt eating feces or poo is abuse. Cornejo stated he did not think he believed it. Mother attempted to explain why she believed it and was stopped by Judge. Mother asked if it is domestic violence to put a sword to a child’s neck and block them from the phone. Cornejo’s response – do not remember. Mother asked Cornejo how a child being abused or hurt should and/or can report their abuse if he as the investigator is unwilling to review. Cornejo responded they can go to CPS. Mother asked Cornejo if he had any children. Cornejo replied yes. Mother asked if he would investigate these allegations for his children. Mother was stopped by Judge Hannah.
Justin Upton took the stand.
Bednarz asked if ok to submit phone records as evidence. Judge asked Shannon’s mother – who agreed. Bednarz asked if Upton has had time with Shannon. Upton said he had the agreement and was following the every other weekend arrangement since September and since them Shannon’s mother had refused to let Shannon go with him. Upton said he had been very flexible about he custody agreement and stopped wanting to be flexible about it any longer when Cornejo interviewed him. Upton stated Shannon’s mother becomes very upset and texts his wife like this every time she is upset. Upton stated Shannon’s mother refused to let him see Shannon for thanksgiving. Upton stated Shannon’s mother refused to answer her phone or texts from him. Upton stated after spending a few hours on Christmas with Shannon and his family on the holidays he asked to take Shannon with his brother in town from Oregon to a restaurant. At the restaurant with Shannon and family, his brother asked to spend time with him and thought it would be a good idea to take Shannon to see them in Oregon. Upton stated this infuriated Shannon’s mother and she got very irate and said he would be sorry. Upton stated he tried to go get Shannon to see her after speaking to his lawyer who told him to be patient and get her for his visitation. After parking on the street and attempting entry police stopped him and he showed his custody orders to them but Shannon’s mother had called and had an order of protection served on him. Upton stated he would like full decision making and custody and that Shannon’s mother has mental health problems because she just stops speaking to people altogether when she gets mad. Upton states Shannon’s mother has stopped speaking to her sister and her brother until he moved in with her mother. Bednarz asked if Upton took naked pictures of Shannon. Upton stated yes but only at Shannon’s mother’s house when she was a baby in the bathtub. Bednarz asked if he has weapons in his house. Upton responded they are in the attic. Upton is seeking child support and financial reimbursement for fees.
Shannon’s mother asked Upton why he is stating he has had Shannon when she only spent the night twice at his residence. Judge stopped and indicated to only ask questions. Mother asked why Upton has stated his first childhood memories were poking his finger in a child’s rectum and his mother was upset and hit him and pulled him away. Upton responded “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. Mother asked why he said when he was 3 years old, a cousin molested him anally and his parents did nothing so he took a rock and smashed the window of his cousin’s car and was surprised he could do that at 3? Upton responded “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. Mother asked why he said he knows that kings in other countries can get away with having intercourse with babies by doing it between the legs and not penetrating them? Upton responded “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. Mother asked why during breast cancer and chemo on sister and mother he wanted to be erogenous with her armpits and why he felt rubbing armpits could be a turn on like breasts? Upton responded “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. Mother asked why he made comments to her on multiple occasions about the color of people’s rectum? Upton responded “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. Mother asked why he stated to her multiple times that people need to bleach their rectum area? Upton responded “I have no idea what you’re talking about”. Mother asked why the phone records from 10/19/12 were missing from his lawyer’s entry? He said “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Mother stated there was anal leakage from Shannon on this date that I called you about repeatedly and there is no phone page record submitted. Why was this phone record page omitted from the evidence? “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Mother asked why Shannon is stating guns were pointed at her while at Jimmy and Nana’s. Upton stated that never happened. Mother asked why swords were pointed at her at his residence. Upton stated that never happened.
Judge Hannah looked at phone records.
Mother given opportunity to speak.
Mother requested telephonic testimony of Pastor Kristin as Shannon has made allegations to her on 3 different occasions.
Mother requested notes from Dr. Breckon Laizure be reviewed or telephone testimony as Shannon has indicated allegations of abuse during 5 therapy sessions.
Mother requested records from Pediatrician be made available for review from Shannon’s 2/15/13 visit which was 30 days past the order of protection and shows no contest by father.
Mother asked that Mr. Nelson be given more time to meet with Shannon and father as social worker only met briefly the other night and Shannon stated she did not want to be around guns or swords.
Mother requested and extension of time for additional psychotherapy schedule on Shannon at end of month. Judge asked why therapy had ended. Mother responded due to cost and it was not covered by insurance.
Mother requested additional time for legal aid to assist as recently qualified and did not have time to review the case and appear today.
Mother requested additional time for psych evaluation to be done on father.
Mother stated father is taking Shannon in anger when refused sex or after argument and requested time to show Chandler police records of incident that initiated custody order in 2009. Mother states there is a history of taking Shannon in anger not love and would like to provide telephonic and/or other evidence of this. Mother stated Shannon has only spent the night at Uptons twice in her lifetime and not on the weekends as his is claiming. Mother stated Upton has never followed the custody agreement. Judge asked why father had a room for Shannon at his house. Mother responded I don’t know – because he has an extra 3rd bedroom. Mother stated father has allowed her to claim Shannon on taxes every year since born and stated he meant to have the custody paperwork changed.
Mother explained anal leakage of enema fluid on October 19th and pictures of chair that Upton refused to admit anything happened but text-ed response to “Not make Shannon re-live it”. Judge asked if Shannon had spent the night. Mother responded no and that the fluid was leaking out of her more than 12 hours after visiting only. After she had showered the night prior and was sitting naked on chair trying to pick out clothes to wear she leaked what appeared to be enema fluid onto her office chair. Mother stated father is angry at her having Shannon and demanded abortions on pregnancies prior to Shannon and request she have a hysterectomy multiple times after Shannon was born. Mother states father takes Shannon out of anger not love. Shannon was to go to her 6th birthday party with him and her cousins and was very upset when only Jane and Nana showed up at chuckie cheese. Mother stated Upton is not taking Shannon to spend any time with children or for any fun occasions but only to be used by adults as a toy.
Bednarz asked why all these reports were not provided since the hearing was announce at the end of March. Mother responded that pastor Kristin could not attend today because she has a sprained ankle and the therapist has not provided notes requested.
Hannah asked Nelson what he thought and what he would do. Nelson stated someone is clearly lying because they are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Nelson stated his social worker met with Shannon who did not seem to have any fear of her father but Shannon did state she does not want to be around guns and swords and Shannon stated they are naked and showing tattoos on their butts around her. Nelson stated his social worker also spoke to Upton. Nelson stated he would recommend lie detector tests. Hannah paused and then stated he did not like these tests. Hannah states he wants to make a decision quickly based on the information heard. Nelson stated he would recommend placement with foster care. Hannah stated psych evaluations should be done. Hannah asked Bednarz who he is proferring for the evaluations and cost of it. Bednarz responded with $1500 and total case not more than $6,000. Hannah states he is not extended but would like to have time for psych evaluations on both parents before Nelson makes that decision to offer Shannon to state/foster care (unsure of lingo) and requested it be done within 2 days. Bednarz stated he will be out of town on vacation next week. Hannah requested it be done by next hearing date 5/22/13 at 8am. Hannah advised Shannon’s mother any written evaluations can be provided by this date and extension until then.