Accused Tammy Goforth testifies at Regina murder trial

Tammy Goforth was testifying Friday at her trial for second-degree murder. Her co-accused Kevin Goforth is expected to testify later.

Kevin, Tammy Goforth accused of killing girl, 4, causing bodily harm to her sister, 2, are the next witnesses

Kevin Goforth and Tammy Goforth have been jointly charged with murder in the death of a four-year-old girl. Tammy testified in her own defence on Friday. (Facebook )

Kevin and Tammy Goforth are witnesses at their own murder trial. Tammy entered the witness box Friday morning.

The Regina couple has been charged with second-degree murder of a four-year-old girl in 2012 and of causing bodily harm to her younger sister. The Goforths were caregivers to the children at the time.

Tammy Goforth testimony contrasts Crown witnesses

Tammy Goforth spent much of her time in the witness box on Friday contradicting what had already been said in court.

Testifying in her own defence, she said when social services asked if they would take the girls, Kevin didn't want them, but she cried because she "wanted girls."

Goforth told court the older girl was "small, very small and thin" while her younger sister was "tiny" when they arrived in their care in 2011.

It's almost like they didn't even sleep at night.- Tammy Goforth

"When I would feed them they would eat fast, like they were never going to eat again," Goforth said.

The description of the girls as small and thin contrasts with statements given earlier in the trial by a Crown witness, a child protection worker, who described the girls as "full-faced" and "pudgy" before the Goforths came into the picture.

​Gorforth said she tied a small string to the doorknob of the girls' bedroom to keep them inside, since they would "roam around at nighttime," and she was worried they would hurt themselves. 

"It's almost like they didn't even sleep at night," she said, adding the string allowed the door to open approximately 30 cm, and that she only tied it there once.

Const. Garth Fleece, a forensic identification expert with Regina Police, had mentioned the string earlier in the trial. It had been one of the items he was supposed to search for in the original search warrant, as a possible sign of a restraint.

Goforth also said Friday that one of the girls would poke her nose until it bled, so Goforth put mittens on her. Goforth said she taped them on to stop them from sliding off. She said the tape ended up causing some marks.

This contrasts the testimony of the crown witness, Dr. Shawn Ladham, who performed the autopsy on the four-year-old. Ladham testified he believed some of the injuries around her wrists and legs could have been caused by being bound together with tape. 
Const. Garth Fleece testified that he found this pink strip of cloth in the bedroom where the girls were staying in the Goforth home. "It appears to be in a loop with a large knot at one end. In the knot appears to be a large amount of dark hair," he told the court. (Crown evidence in Goforth trial)

When asked about a pink knotted cloth with hair in it — that was also presented earlier in the trial by Const. Fleece as an object possibly used as a restraint — Goforth said it was a homemade hairband.

Goforth's lawyer asked her if she taped the older girl's hands to the wall, refused to give the girls food or intended to hurt them — Goforth replied no to all questions, at some points crying.

Girls in Goforth's care before 4-year-old died

The two-year-old and four-year-old were in the couple's care before the four-year-old was hospitalized and died. Court has heard the older girl was malnourished and dehydrated before she went into cardiac arrest. 

The girl was taken off life support on Aug. 2, 2012.

The trial before Queen's Bench Justice Ellen Gunn and a jury of 14 (only 12 will deliberate on the case) started Jan. 18 and is expected to continue up to another week.