Regusters Cries Out in Court as Her Cousin Testifies, Jury Pulled from Room | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Investigation Into 5-Year-Old's Abduction, Sex Assault

Regusters Cries Out in Court as Her Cousin Testifies, Jury Pulled from Room

Detective reveals suspect was not read her Miranda rights when she gave a statement to police

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    A woman charged in the kidnapping and rape of a young girl became emotional and tried to walk out of the courtroom on Wednesday. (Published Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014)

    An emotional outburst by Christina Regusters prompted the jury to be ushered from a Philadelphia courtroom on Wednesday afternoon during the woman's kidnapping and rape trial.

    "I never touched your child. She's lying," the 21-year-old yelled as she listened to testimony from her cousin Katrina Regusters.

    The cousin told prosecutors Christina abused her 11-year-old daughter three times in the past.

    Tears were seen flowing from the defense table, the witness stand and from people in the courtroom. The jury was removed from court amid the commotion as the defendant tried to leave herself.

    "I need to go. I can't stay here," Christina Regusters said to bailiffs seated nearby.

    In that same moment, she stood up from her seat and a turned to walk toward the very door she enters and exits from every day. Officers held her there and gave her water until she calmed down. Then, they escorted her from the courtroom as she sobbed into a tissue.

    Before the blow-up, the 11-year-old accuser also took the stand. She testified Christina Regusters allegedly abused her twice at a family home and once at the daycare where the woman worked.

    The woman also allegedly told the girl 'This is how my father used to touch me' during an assault, according to the girl.

    But the 11-year-old's timeline was called into question when dates did not match up. She recanted her first testimony before asking for paper to work out her age at the time of the alleged assaults.

    Christina Regusters' attorney claimed the timing was wrong because the girl was lying.

    The courtroom fireworks came on the same day the defendant took the stand and her attorney scored a win by having a statement she made to police suppressed.

    Christina Regusters stands charged with kidnapping a 5-year-old girl from her Cobbs Creek Elementary School last February, holding her for 19 hours and brutally raping her with a sharp object. The girl was then dumped in a playground.

    Fred Harrison, Christina Regusters' attorney, began the day at Judge Jeffrey Minehart's bench motioning to have the woman's Feb. 14, 2013 statement suppressed. He said Regusters was not read her Miranda rights before talking to police.

    The judge later ruled in favor with the motion as long as Regusters doesn't take the stand. Should she, the judge said, then the statement would be fair game for prosecutors.

    Before making the decision, Regusters was pulled on the stand for 30 minutes to answer procedural questions about what she said to police. Harrison, her attorney, argued that she was under duress when she talked. The jury was not in the room at the time.

    "Whoever was writing the statement was leading me. I just wanted to go home. I told him I would give him answers, whatever it was," said Regusters.

    Prosecutor Erin O’Brien asked Regusters if she was a liar. She responded that some of her statements, including those about the crime, were not true.

    The woman testified she knew about details about the crime because she and other workers at the daycare where she worked and the young victim attended discussed the case.

    “I feel as though I was outside watching from another place. As if someone else was speaking besides myself,” said Regusters of her police interview.

    The two detectives who questioned her that night were also called up to answer questions and one admitted she was not read her rights.

    Prosecutors pointed to the fact that she didn't make a written request for an attorney on her statement as a point that she made the statement freely. But, Regusters said she verbally asked for one.

    The court also heard about Regusters herself being the victim of abuse in the past. She talked about time in 2005 when her father allegeldy sexually assaulted her. When asked if she also lied about that, she replied no.

    Court was adjourned for the day after the outburst. It is set to continue on Thursday with more testimony from Katrina Regusters.