Grandma of missing toddler expressed worry in calls
Wed, 05 Sep 2012 15:04:00 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- Prosecutors have rested their case against a South Carolina mother charged in the case of her missing toddler.
Defense attorneys for Zinah Jennings are expected to begin presenting their case Wednesday.
Jennings is charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.
Amir Jennings was 18 months old when he was last seen around Thanksgiving, and his mother has refused to tell police where he is but said she left him somewhere safe.
Jennings gave birth to a baby girl last week, and a judge ruled that she is well enough to stay on trial this week. A high school friend testified last week Jennings told her she was stressed and pondered selling or giving away the boy.
Amir's grandmother, Jocelyn Jennings Nelson, expressed worry and confusion about the boy's whereabouts during jailhouse phone calls with her daughter.
Prosecutors on Wednesday played phone calls between Jennings Nelson and her daughter, Zinah Jennings. Nelson said in the calls she thought police believed the boy was dead but that she didn't think her daughter would have harmed him.
In one of the phone calls played in court Wednesday, Zinah Jennings told Jennings Nelson, "Now everyone knows I have a baby."
In another call, Jennings Nelson pleaded for Zinah to tell police where Amir is. Zinah told her, "I didn't call police. I didn't ask for their help."
In a phone call recorded on February 8, Zinah said she wanted to give her second baby to Jennings Nelson.
Jennings Nelson also testified Wednesday that she felt her daughter was trying to rebel against strict house rules after moving back into the family home. But Nelson said that she never saw Zinah Jennings hurt the boy.
Jennings faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)