Bobby Woods Jr. testified Thursday in his capital murder trial.
Woods, 21, is charged in the August 2015 drowning death of 3-year-old Mason Cuttler along with his former girlfriend, Billie Jean Cuttler.
Closing arguments in the case should begin this morning.
John Tunnell, Woods’ attorney along with Carter Meyers, called on Woods to take the stand Thursday morning.
Woods began his testimony by stating he had nothing to do with Mason’s death and denied killing the child. The day Mason went missing, Woods said he and Cuttler had numerous arguments, and the last time he had seen the child he was with Cuttler on a sitting on a four-wheeler she was riding.
Woods said he didn’t understand his Miranda rights and thought words were being put in his mouth during his initial interview with former Angelina County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Harold Rapsilver.
“He was suggesting that it was an accident, and I knew it was an accident,” Woods testified. “But there was also another suggestion of something else taking place out there. That’s what surprised me and that’s why I reacted the way I did.”
Woods also said it was his understanding that a polygraph test is admissible in court. He failed both polygraph tests he took, which former ACSO Lt. Brett Maisel said could look bad in front of a judge during an interview.
Finally, he said the statement he made a day before his arrest, that he pushed Mason into the pond and turned his back as the boy drowned, was a false confession and insisted on his innocence.
Woods said he believed Cuttler was pregnant at the time and was thinking of his unborn child.
Al Charanza, Cuttler’s attorney, has said his client wasn’t pregnant in several previous newspaper articles.
Woods testified that he felt used by Maisel and that he found Texas Ranger Steve Rayburn, who was also a part of the interviewing process, intimidating.
“After multiple times being asked if I hurt my nephew, that’s what I told him to make him stop asking me,” Woods said. He said he made a false confession to end the interviews.
District Attorney Joe Martin, who is prosecuting the case with assistant DA Ken Dies, picked at Woods’ testimony, noting the inconsistencies in Woods’ prior talks with investigators.
“Can you really sit there and say to this jury, ‘I stand by my word’ when they’ve heard you said so many lies?” Martin asked.
Martin focused on the fact that Woods said Mason was facedown with his eyes closed when his body was found, an event Woods wasn’t present for and had no knowledge of, as Woods said they hadn’t talked about what happened during his testimony.
“There’s no way you’d know that unless you saw him in that pond, unless you held him down to make sure he’d drown,” Martin said.
During their interview, Rayborn told Woods he intended to leave if Wood kept saying he didn’t see the boy drown, according to Martin, who questioned why he didn’t continue to say that instead of admitting to a murder to officers.
Going further, Martin also pointed out how Woods spoke about how good it felt to confess after telling investigators what had happened.
Martin also questioned why Woods insisted he was thinking of Cuttler and his unborn child when he later told investigators it was Cuttler’s idea to kill Mason to make room for their child. Additionally, Woods used an expletive to describe Cuttler during his interview with investigators.
Following cross-examinations, the defense rested and the state offered no rebuttal witnesses.