DALLAS - The mother of a beaten 4-year-old Grand Prairie girl said her memory of what happened the day she died is limited.
Jeri Quezada took the stand again Thursday in the capital murder trial for her ex-boyfriend, Charles Phifer.
Quezada said Phifer was babysitting her daughter, Leiliana Wright, two years ago. She came home to find her beaten and tied up in a closet.
Under cross-examination Thursday, Quezada said she cannot remember much of what she told detectives after her daughter’s death, including whether or not she hit Leiliana in the chest for drinking her little brother’s juice.
“Did you hit Lily in the chest?” defense attorneys asked.
“I don’t remember,” Quezada answered.
“You’re not saying it didn’t happen?” the defense asked.
“I don’t remember doing it,” she said.
Phifer’s defense attorneys claim there are discrepancies in Quezada’s story.
Quezada pleaded guilty to injury to a child charges last year and is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence. As part of her plea deal, she promised truthful testimony during Phifer’s trial.
Quezada’s mother, Adeline Carr, is a retired Grand Prairie Swim Coach and the grandmother of Leiliana. She did not answer questions as she left the courtroom.
Carr showed no emotion during her testimony. During cross-examination, she claimed not to be aware of her daughter’s ongoing drug abuse, including the day of Leiliana’s death. But she also acknowledged knowing her daughter could be deceitful.
Sgt. Brad Makovy said Quezada was forthcoming and emotional when she saw autopsy photos. But before her arrest, he testified that Quezada had a different attitude.
“Toward the end, she said ‘F it. I’m done.’ And walked out,” he testified.
According to a state report obtained in 2017 by FOX 4, CPS had opened investigations involving Leiliana and her mother in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Her paternal grandparents had fought to in court obtain custody of the little girl. But in the end, they agreed to visitation rights.
In addition to claiming she did not see any signs of her daughter’s drug use, Carr also said she never saw signs of abuse against her granddaughter. She told jurors Leiliana loved to color, play with chalk and read stories.
If Phifer is convicted, he faces a life sentence without parole.