The capital murder trial of Bobby Woods Jr. continued into its second week Monday.
Woods, 21, is charged in the drowning death of Mason Cuttler, 3, who was found in a pond near the home Woods and Mason, as well as others, lived in on Aug. 17, 2015. Woods’ former girlfriend, Billie Jean Cuttler, 21, is also charged in the same crime.
The trial began Wednesday in state District Judge Paul White’s courtroom. Woods is being represented by attorneys John Tunnell and Carter Meyers. Assistant District Attorney Ken Dies and District Attorney Joe Martin are prosecuting the case.
Lufkin Police Lt. Jerry Smith returned to the stand Monday to continue his testimony from last week. The state played video of Smith’s interviews with Woods following Mason’s death for the jury’s consideration.
After Smith, former Angelina County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Brett Maisel discussed the search for Mason the day he went missing. Maisel testified that Woods and Cuttler said Mason went missing around 1 to 1:30 p.m.; their stories did not line up with the others who gave statements.
“It was apparent to us that Bobby Wayne Woods and his girlfriend Billie Jean Cuttler were the last ones to see Mason Cuttler alive,” Maisel said.
That’s why polygraph interviews were given to Woods in an attempt to help determine the direction of the investigation, Maisel said.
Maisel said Woods voluntarily agreed to return to ACSO for his tests. He received a second polygraph due to Smith’s and Maisel’s concerns that Mason’s death had happened so recently and that Woods didn’t have enough rest to be tested properly.
Cuttler appeared to have an academic insufficiency during their interview, Maisel said, which is why they chose not to test her with the polygraph.
Additionally, Maisel said other detectives were critical of his decision to let Woods go after interviews, but he said he promised Woods that he was free to leave during the investigation.
Footage of the first interview with Maisel was played for the court, as well as audio of a call Woods voluntarily made to Cuttler.
In the interview and call, Woods discussed the day Mason went missing and made contradictory statements, such as saying he and Cuttler realized Mason was missing in the house before later changing his story to say they had realized Mason was gone after an argument outside.
During the call, Woods paused to speak with Cuttler numerous times before Cuttler takes the phone and speaks to Maisel.
Additionally, Woods said he was having difficulties with other members of the household due to suspicions. Near the beginning of the call, Woods said he feared he would go to jail because he and Cuttler had turned their backs for a second and Mason was missing.
Following the audio of the call, the court went into recess for the evening.