The ‘best friend’ of Tramelle Sturgis today testified about what he did to try and stop the beatings that eventually killed the 10 year old South Bend boy last November.
In this case, the friendly advice was a trip upstairs to report the abuse to the grandmother of both boys. It’s the same grandmother who is now on trial for allegedly covering up the violence that took place in her West Washington Street home.
Today’s testimony came from an 11 year old boy who lived at the home of Dellia Castile in 2011. He said that Castile put cream on the wounds of the beaten boys and even offered the abuser (her son Terry Sturgis) money if he would “stop the whoopings.”
The boy said that on the day Tramelle Sturgis died, he woke up to his grandmother’s voice saying, “Why did you do it, why did you do it, I knew this was going to happen.”
Two of Castile’s grandchildren today turned state’s witness. A 13 year old female said she slept in the same upstairs bedroom as Castile, and that the screams of the children being beaten in the basement could be heard “every other day.”
Today’s testimony also indicates that state investigators were twice called to the Castile home to look into alleged abuse. The most recent was in May of 2011, some six months before Tramelle’s death.
The lead investigator in the May 2011 probe today indicated that Dellia Castile seemed shocked when he showed up, saying the allegations were false, and that she wouldn’t allow that type of thing.
The second probe ended when none of the children admitted to any inappropriate discipline.
A state investigator who led a February 2010 probe into the situation explained why she found claims of abuse to be “unsubstantiated.”
While then second grader Tramelle Sturgis claimed that his father hit him with a wooden club and that his two brothers saw it, both brothers claimed that Tramelle was lying and that his injuries came from something else.
While the defense has sought to portray Dellia Castile as someone burdened by health problems and barely able to walk, the 11 year old grandson today claimed that Castile played basketball with the children and that she was “good at shooting threes.”
Castile is on trial for Neglect of a Dependent.
The case is expected to be in the hands of the jury by Wednesday or Thursday of this week.