The state has rested its case in the capital murder trial of Bobby Woods Jr.
Woods, 21, is charged in the August 2015 drowning death of Mason Cuttler, 3, along with his former girlfriend, Billie Jean Cuttler, 23. Assistant District Attorney Ken Dies and District Attorney Joe Martin are the prosecutors. Attorneys John Tunnell and Carter Meyers are Woods’ defense counsel.
Wednesday’s testimony began with Tunnell questioning former Angelina County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brett Maisel. Footage of Woods’ initial confession to Maisel, in which Woods said he wanted to go home and go to bed, was played. Tunnell questioned Maisel on this portion of the investigation process, and why he had persisted in asking Woods further questions.
“I had a responsibility to be diligent in this case,” Maisel said. “No, I didn’t want to end the interview there.”
Maisel said Woods did not terminate the interview despite saying he wanted to go home, something he did in later interviews.
The state’s final witness was Mason’s grandmother, Janey Ramsey, who spoke about the day Mason disappeared and how she helped with the search before law enforcement took over. Ramsey said she didn’t interact with Woods or Cuttler often, and didn’t pay attention to them after she drove them home from their initial interviews with the sheriff’s office.
Ramsey also said she told Mason snakes came out of the pond’s water, and insisted the boy feared the pond.
“We never took him to the ponds very often because we didn’t want him to get comfortable going to the ponds or to think it was OK,” she said.
Tunnell’s first witnesses were Tracie and Phillip Bowden, neighbors to the home where Mason and the others lived.
Tracie Bowden said she is Mason’s grandfather’s cousin. The Bowdens each detailed an incident in which Mason ran toward the pond before Tracie grabbed him to stop him from getting in. As far as she knew, Mason didn’t fear the pond.
Phillip Bowden said he was present the day Mason went missing and assisted in the search and made the 911 call.
One of Woods’ sisters, Davin Denk, spoke about Woods’ cognitive and intellectual difficulties in his youth during her testimony
“I think he’s always struggled compared to his peers,” she said. “Throughout his life I’ve helped him with his homework.”
Martin questioned Denk about various terms and concepts Woods displayed knowledge of, such as peripheral vision, being an associate of murder and what his attorney’s role is, to which she said Woods could be knowledgeable if he had been taught such things. Additionally, she said Woods did have a temper at Martin’s prompting.
The court went into recess for the evening after Denk’s testimony.