PROVO, Utah (AP) - A mother tied up her screaming 4-year-old daughter with a curtain cord, pulled the girl's head back and poured water down her throat for misbehaving, the child's older sister told police after the toddler's death.
The videotaped police interview was played Monday at the opening of a hearing to determine whether Richard Killpack, 34, and Jennete Killpack, 26, should be tried in the death last June of their adopted daughter, Cassandra.
The Killpacks are charged with child-abuse homicide and child abuse. The Springville couple have said they forced Cassandra to drink large amounts of water as psychological therapy for sneaking around and lying.
The girl's older sister told an officer that Cassandra had drunk juice intended for their 1-year-old sister.
"I said, 'You'll have to go to Mom and do the drinking-water thing,'" 7-year-old Heather Nicole Killpack told the officer.
Heather said Jennete Killpack tied Cassandra's hands behind her back and tried to force her to drink. At one point, Heather said, Cassandra fell off a wet, slippery barstool onto the floor, and Jennete Killpack slammed the girl back onto the seat.
Later, Heather said, Richard Killpack held Cassandra while Jennete Killpack tried again to get her to drink. "She was spitting water in Mom's face," Heather said.
Cassandra vomited and was told by her parents to clean up the mess, Heather said. Instead, she complained of a headache and "all of a sudden she lay down."
Both Heather, who is the Killpacks' biological child, and the adopted 1-year-old are in foster care.
A hospital physician testified that as Cassandra lay dying, the Killpacks insisted on giving the doctor a rundown of the girl's faults.
"They took five minutes to explain how many different things were wrong with the child," Dr. Anne Moon said.
Moon testified that Cassandra died from water intoxication and brain damage. The water lowered her sodium level, which caused her brain to swell and triggered seizures, the doctor said.
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