One day after her courtroom outburst brought an abrupt end to testimony, Christina Regusters was admonished by the judge in her child kidnap and rape trial.
Judge Jeffrey Minehart told the 21-year-old defendant that if she disrupted testimony again, she would be banned from the courtroom and forced to participate via video.
Regusters, who is on trial for the abduction and rape of a 5-year-old Philadelphia girl, lashed out Wednesday at a cousin who was on the stand testifying against her. When the cousin accused Regusters of abusing her daughter, Regusters, who was also sobbing, yelled out, "I never touched your child. She's lying!"
Jurors were ushered out of the courtroom and so was Regusters, crying and gasping for air.
Testimony resumed Thursday after Regusters was reprimanded. Regusters' cousin continued testifying for the prosecution. Her sister also took the stand, testifying that she'd been in denial about Regusters involvement in the crime until she was subpoenaed for a hearing last month. Erica Regusters testified that she had been in denial about Christina Regusters' involvement in the crime, but that her feelings began to change during that hearing. She then advised her sister to ask her daughter if Regusters had been inappropriate with her in any way. It was at that point the daughter revealed -- and recounted on the stand Wednesday -- that she'd been touched inappropriately on several occasions by Christina Regusters.
The jury recessed mid-morning when an alternate juror became sick. She was dismissed for the day.
Regusters is accused of abducting the Bryant Elementary kindergartner from her school daycare on Jan. 14, 2013. Prosecutors allege that she alone held the girl hostage, naked under her bed and sexually assaulter her repeatedly before dumping her in an Upper Darby park where she was found the next morning, shivering in only a t-shirt.
A Philadelphia police department forensics expert is expected to testify Thursday about DNA evidence allegedly found on that shirt.
Regusters' mother and sister, who've been in court daily, did not return. Defense attorney Fred Harrison said they were too upset to come back.