HAMILTON, Ohio - On the stand, Rebekah Kinner accused her former boyfriend of a pattern of excessive discipline and abuse that prosecutors say led to her 2-year-old daughter's death.
Kinner, serving a 12-year sentence in the death of Kinsley Kinner, was let out of prison to testify Thursday in Bradley Young's murder trial.
Kinsley died Dec. 2 from a brain injury caused by Young's beating and shaking, according to prosecutors.
After Kinner and Young started dating in August 2015, Young was very affectionate toward Kinsley, Kinner said.
"At first he really took to her. He loved on her, bought her things, played with her. He was really great with her at first," Kinner said.
But then the abuse started, she said.
"He started smacking her hands, smacking her in the mouth, busting her butt," she said.
The prosecutor asked if Young had a term for that and Kinner said he called it discipline.
Kinner: "I told him he didn't to be so hard on her. She was just a baby."
Prosecutor: "And what would he say to you?"
Kinner: "This is how my dad discipline me and I turned out just fine … if you don't continue to put your foot down she will walk all over you."
Kinner said Young got angry if Kinsley would wake up crying in the middle of the night.
"She woke up crying and Brad got up and went over and picked her up and held her above his head and asked her why she was being a crybaby b----," Kinner said.
Kinner said Young shook Kinsley several times above his head for crying and described other abuse.
She said he hit her in the head with his fist several times last Thanksgiving.
"That was the first time he ever struck her," Kinner said.
Kinner said she and Young made up stories to explain Kinsley's injuries to her parents. She said she lied to protect him and because she was afraid of him.
"I was controlled by Brad," she said.
Two days after Thanksgiving, Kinner said, she noticed red marks around Kinsley’s neck after the toddler had been out with Young.
Young told Kinner that Kinsley’s head was jerked forward during a car accident. Because Young did not have a driver’s license, Kinner told family members that she was driving.
A few days later, she left Kinsley with Young so she could go the laundromat. When she returned, she had a head injury, Kinner said. Young told her to say that she "freaked out" in the tub and hit her head on the faucet, Kinner testified.
That night, Kinsley stopped breathing.
She had been crying and Young took her into the living room to watch cartoons so Kinner could sleep in the bedroom, Kinner said
Later, Kinner said, Young carried Kinsley to her. Her eyes were open but she wasn't breathing. She said Kinsley wouldn't wake up so she called 911.
Kinsley died in the hospital a few days later and Young and Kinner were both arrested. Kinner was charged for not stopping the abuse.
She said she lied to protect Young from getting in trouble until detectives got confrontational with her and explained Kinsley's condition as the girl lay dying in the hospital.
That's when she started telling the truth, she said.
Here is a portion of the text from the interrogation tape played in court:
Det. Rob Whitlock: "Either you or your friend has done something to your daughter.
Kinner: "II haven't done anything to my baby."
Detective: "Then how do you two come up with these stories that don't match up?"
Kinner: "I'm telling you what I know."
Detective: "Whatever happened to her it wasn't an accident, it didn't happen in a car."
Kinner: "I haven't done anything to my baby."
Detective: "What if I tell you she has blood on her brain?"
Detective: "You've got to start taking care of your baby. You've got to tell us what happened. Your baby's not doing too well."
Kinner: "I don't know."
On cross examination, Young's defense went after Kinner's credibility, accusing her of changing her story several times and lying to police, the grand jury and even to her dad.
She admitted lying to police and her dad but said she didn't lie to the grand jury.
“Everything I told the grand jury is what I seen him do to my daughter,” Kinner said.
But Young's attorney, Frank Schiavone III, aggressively challenged several parts of her testimony.
In one case, he said, Kinner changed her testimony about Young striking Kinsley in the head at Thanksgiving. He said she originally told police it happened before they went to her grandmother's house and that she told the grand jury it happened afterward.
Grilled by Schiavone, Kinner said over and over that she couldn't she couldn't remember what she told police or the grand jury.
Ultimately, she said she lied to police four or five times and even lied to her dad when Kinsley was dying in the hospital.
According to the attorney, Kinner's dad said to her in a phone call:
"I want to know what went on.
"What the hell did you do to her?
"You could have brought that baby to us.
"You got one minute to tell me what happened."
Kinner answered by saying: "I'm not saying, Dad. I'm trying to figure it out."
Schiavone suggested to the jury that Young was more concerned about Kinsley that Kinner was. When Kinsley wasn't breathing, Young gave Kinsley CPR while Kinner went outside, Schiavone said.
Kinner: "I was waiting for the ambulance."
Schiavone: "The ambulance was coming. You couldn't bear to see it, could you?"
Schiavone also tried to portray Kinner as a golddigger, suggesting she only took interest in Young after finding out he made $90,000 a year.
"Ninety thousand a year was the last thing on my mind," Kinner said.
Kinner will be back on the stand Friday.
The Journal-News, a media partner of WCPO - 9 On Your Side, contributed to this report.