Boys Testify In Parents' Trial Over Baby Sister's Death

Prosecution Claims Mother Admitted Diet Hurt Baby

NBC6 News, Florida/October 19, 2005

Miami -- The two oldest children of a couple accused of starving their baby to death with a diet of only raw food testified against their parents Wednesday.

Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn are charged with aggravated manslaughter after their 5-month-old daughter, Woyah, died in May 2003.

Prosecutors contend that the child starved to death as a result of the raw food diet imposed by her parents. The defense claims that the baby died as the result of congenital medical problems.

The two boys, now 9 and 7 years old, testified via closed-circuit television from a remote location.

"All I know is they killed my little baby sister by accident," the 9-year-old said.

The 9-year-old said he barely remembers Woyah, NBC 6's Nick Bogert reported.

"They gave us raw food but they didn't know our little sister would die from that," the 9-year-old said.

Lamoy Andressohn wept in the courtroom when her oldest son said he could not remember her name now.

The 7-year-old boy, who testified while holding a golf club the judge had in his chamber, agreed with his older brother that the raw food diet often left him hungry but afraid to complain to his parents.

"Because I thought I'd get in trouble," the 7-year-old said.

In the 28 months since the boys and their two other siblings were removed from their parents' care, they have lived with their father's sister.

"They look good, and it would be wonderful to hold them," Joseph Andressohn said.

Defense lawyers claimed the aunt has turned the four children against their parents.

"It came out in further cross-examination that he got those thoughts from his new mother, Mary," said defense lawyer Ellis Rubin.

But, when the 9-year-old said his mommy told him that his sister had died because of diet, and lawyers asked him which mommy he meant, he replied, "my real, my first one."

Prosecutor Herbert Walker claimed this meant that Lamoy Andressohn had admitted that the ideas on nutrition had been a fatal mistake.

"The information about baby Woyah dying from eating the raw food came from the defendant herself," Walker said.

Defense lawyers claimed the aunt scared the kids out of wanting to see their parents.

"My aunt told me that if I went there I'd go to jail," one of the children said in his testimony.

Although the boys couldn't see them, the Andressohns waved when each boy left the remote camera site.

Rubin had earlier tried to deliver an "I love you," message from the Andressohns to their sons, but the prosecution raised an objection, which the judge sustained.

Rubin added, "I'm sorry. I can't tell you that," Bogert reported.

Lamoy Andressohn did not want to comment outside the courtroom.

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