NEWS

Shakeil Booth's stepmom questioned by husband's lawyer

03/13/2014 09:33 EDT | Updated 05/13/2014 05:59 EDT
One day after she testified that she was too afraid of her husband to tell authorities he kept his 10-year-old son chained to a bed, Nichelle Boothe-Rowe faced questions from his lawyer Thursday in a Brampton, Ont. courtroom.

​Boothe-Rowe and her husband, Garfield Boothe, are on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Shakeil Booth.

Garfield Boothe's lawyer, John Rosen, asked why, if she was so afraid of her husband, she called police several times when he had assaulted her during arguments.

Rosen noted she had, in fact, taken photos of her stepson while he was chained to his bed. Those photos were presented in court earlier in the week.

Rosen suggested Boothe-Rowe kept them because, he said while addressing her, "You know in your heart you're responsible for his death."

Boothe-Rowe denied the suggestion. She told the court earlier this week she had meant to send the photos to the boy's birth mother, who lives in the United States, but never did.

Rosen went on to allege that Boothe-Rowe chained the boy to the bed because he had been stealing from her, and because she was struggling at the time to care for him and her then-newborn child.

Boothe-Rowe has testified she tried to talk her husband out of chaining the boy, but said it became easier to simply free him once Boothe left the house.

Boothe-Rowe earlier described finding Shakeil’s lifeless body in the family's basement on May 26, 2011.

She told the court on Tuesday she knew the boy was being beaten but didn't think he would die from the injuries.

Court has heard autopsy results showed widespread internal bleeding that overwhelmed Shakeil's body, already weakened by malnutrition and severe infection.

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