Mother testifies in baby-shaking trial - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Mother testifies in baby-shaking trial

Posted: Updated:
Investigators said Gary Wilbourn violently shook his 4-month-old daughter at their Lacey's Spring home. Investigators said Gary Wilbourn violently shook his 4-month-old daughter at their Lacey's Spring home.
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Stabbing fatality in Sheffield

    Stabbing fatality in Sheffield

    Monday, September 1 2014 2:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:31:58 GMT
    A man was found stabbed to death in a Sheffield home (Source: WAFF) A man was found stabbed to death in a Sheffield home (Source: WAFF)
    Sheffield Police Department responded to a stabbing call on Monday morning.63 year old George Henry Morris Sr. was found in a home, in what appears to be a stabbing.The body is being taken to Forensics in Huntsville.WAFF has a crew on the scene and will bring new details as they are available.Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.More >>
    Sheffield Police Department responded to a stabbing call on Monday morning.63 year old George Henry Morris Sr. was found in a home, in what appears to be a stabbing.The body is being taken to Forensics in Huntsville.WAFF has a crew on the scene and will bring new details as they are available.Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.More >>
  • Plastic bag ban considered

    Plastic bag ban considered

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:16 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:16:10 GMT
    Plastic Bag Ban (Source: MGNOnline)Plastic Bag Ban (Source: MGNOnline)
    Paper or plastic? It's a familiar question in grocery stores across the country, but soon, in California, it may not be an optionMore >>
    Paper or plastic? It's a familiar question in grocery stores across the country, but soon, in California, it may not be an optionMore >>
  • Breaking

    Police: Body found in Ider

    Police: Body found in Ider

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:10 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:10:25 GMT
    A body has been found in Ider (Source: WAFF)A body has been found in Ider (Source: WAFF)
    Sheriff Jimmy Harris reports a body was found in a wooded area near Ider on Sunday at approximately 4:00 p.m.More >>
    Sheriff Jimmy Harris reports a body was found in a wooded area near Ider on Sunday at approximately 4:00 p.m.More >>
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

A key murder trial witness in Decatur was subpoenaed. The development came on the fourth day of testimony in Gary Wilbourn's capital murder trial. The prosecution said Doctor Emily Ward was served a subpoena through a Mississippi court.

Doctor Ward's preliminary autopsy results indicated Amy Wilbourn's death was a homicide, but her final report listed the cause of death as undetermined. The girl was 4-months-old, and her father, Gary Wilbourn, was charged with her murder. Investigators said he violently shook his daughter at their Lacey's Spring home. A second opinion later determined it to be a homicide.

The girl's mother, Brenda Keller, took the stand for the prosecution for several hours on Friday morning. She testified about her drug use before and after Amy's death. She confessed to using crack cocaine and marijuana while pregnant, and admitted using drugs during other pregnancies.

She also admitted to writing love letters to Gary Wilbourn while he was behind bars, letters that said she knew he had not hurt their daughter. Keller testified she wrote the letters so she could maintain a relationship with Wilbourn's parents, because they have custody of the couple's two children.

Keller wrote the letters to Wilbourn through early August of 2013. Keller, who is married to another man, wrote that she loved Wilbourn, that she knew he did not hurt their daughter, and that she wanted their family back together. She testified she was misleading him so that she wouldn't have issues seeing her kids. Keller has unsupervised visitation rights.

When Wilbourn's defense attorney asked if she thought he would hurt Amy, she said no. She replied, "I don't think he would intentionally hurt one of his kids, but I didn't see what happened to Amy."

The defense attorney followed up by saying Keller did not know if Wilbourn had hurt the child.

"I don't know if he did, but somebody had to," she said.

Shortly after Amy Wilbourn died, Keller told Morgan County Investigators that Gary Wilbourn had acted aggressively two months before when the child was crying, that he went into her room, and the small camper shook, but she never saw what he did or didn't do.

The defense pointed out that Wilbourn weighed 300 pounds at the time, and could have shaken the camper just by walking, and Keller said she never saw him abuse any children. The trial will resume Monday morning.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.