The 6-year-old son of the mother charged in the death of her young daughter did not deliver what prosecutors expected when he took the stand Thursday in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
Dressed in a white shirt, tie and a vest, Tymel Pierce, appeared jovial and eager to leave court when he testified on closed circuit TV about the death of his 4-year-old sister, Marchella.
Tymel said his sister was rarely fed, but he did not say he saw his mother beat Marchella with a belt or tie her to a bed, as he had previously told investigators.
“I don’t know,” he said, when asked whether his jumping rope was used by Brett-Pierce to tie Marchella to a bed.
The boy, who is now in foster care, referred to Carlotta Brett-Pierce as his “old Mom.” She became visibly upset during the testimony.
Brett-Pierce faces murder and other charges stemming from the September 2010 death of her 4-year-old daughter Marchella, who weighed only 18 pounds at the time of her death.
The testimony gave the prosecutors much less then they had hoped for. They had described Tymel as one who could give the best account of what had transpired in the Brett-Pierce household prior to Marchella’s death.
Prosecutors allege Brett-Pierce beat, drugged and starved Marchella to death. They also say she tied the little girl to a bed in her mother’s room from April or May until her death, because she would get up during the night and look for food in the fridge.
Marchella had one kernel of corn in her stomach at the time of her death, according to the medical examiner’s report.
The grandmother, Loretta Brett, is also standing trial and is charged with manslaughter. The two trials are being conducted simultaneously, but with two separate juries.
Both women have pleaded not guilty.
Outside the courtroom, lawyers for Brett-Pierce and her mother said Tymel’s testimony did not hurt their case and that it portrayed the Brett-Pierce home in a more positive light.
The trial continues on Monday.