Published January 17, 2013
The Texas woman on trial for allegedly withholding water from her 10-year-old stepson who died of dehydration admitted in a video tape that she would, at times, limit his water intake, MyFoxDFW.com reported.
"I obviously did this," Tina Alberson, who is accused of causing serious bodily injury to a child, said in a police interrogation video. "I didn't mean to do this."
Alberson had previously told police that the boy did have access to water but "whether or not he drank them, I can't tell you because I was in my chair."
Prosecutors say that Jonathan James died of severe dehydration. An autopsy of the boy determined that there was not a trace of urine in his bladder at the time of his death, MyFoxDFW.com reported.
Prosecutors say he was forced to stand in a ‘time out’ inside a kitchen in 104 degree heat, was not provided food of water for days and, at times, hold a bag of potatoes over his head.
The boy's abuse was punishment for wetting his bed and stealing his brother's guitar strings, prosecutors say.
Michael James, the boy's biological father who is also charged in his death, testified that his wife told him on the night of the boy's July 2011 death, his eyes rolled back into his head and to call 911.
James is handicapped and legally blind. He told the jury he had no idea of any abuse to his son.
James told jurors he feels his wife is responsible for Jonathan's death.
"I flat out told her that if anything happens to my son, I'll never forgive her," he said he told her en route to the hospital.
The boy's biological mother, Krista Bishop, tearfully testified about how emergency room doctors tried for two hours to save him, but in the end they had to let him go.
Alberson held a tissue and appeared to cry both then and as she watched herself on video.