Day Three: Onawa Murder Trial

(ONAWA, IA) It was a short day in court for the Onawa, Iowa, mother accused of drowning her baby.

It was the defense's turn to tell its side of the story putting up three witnesses.
But in a highly unusual decision the judge barred the media from recording their testimony.

25-year-old Ashley Cameron paid a little bit more attention to who was on the stand today. That's because her Father, Kent Cameron, and his long time girlfriend, Tina Rose, testified as witnesses for the defense.

"I went up and hugged her," says Brittany Cameron.

On Wednesday, Brittany Cameron, Ashley Cameron's younger sister described the night at the hospital when her fathers girlfriend told her 15-month-old Markis Dahms had died.

"Tina Rose told me that he was in the other room, after she found out where he was and I went in there and I saw him on the bed," says Brittany Cameron.

Brittany said he had what looked like vomit on the side of his mouth.

That story lines up with what Ashley Cameron's defense team says - Markis was in the bathtub when he began throwing up and fell backwards into the water while Ashley was out of the bathroom.

Yesterday several witnesses told the judge Cameron described to them how she held Markis under a running faucet to rinse his mouth out.

"I don't know where Ashley even got the idea that when a kid throws up, you run water in their mouth. I ain't never done that," says Kent Cameron, Ashley's Father.

Both Kent and his long time girlfriend Tina Rose told the judge on two occasions Markis acted oddly, arching his back when being held unlike anything they had ever seen.

"There was a couple seconds where the poor kid was completely upside down. He did absolutely nothing to right himself. He didn't look at us. He didn't put his arms out. It was strange enough that Kent and I discussed it that moment," Rose testified.

Rose told the judge she believed Markis may have had a seizure disorder.

Rose and Kent Cameron also said Ashley is socially awkward and would lie about minor things. Things got tense in the courtroom when prosecutors questioned Kent Cameron about a statement he made to police after Markis's death.

Prosecutor: "You even, during this taped statement, talked about being kind of resolved to the fact that your daughter messed up?"

Kent: "Yes."

Prosecutor: "But you never told the police in this entire 43 minute interview that she wasn't watching him. Right?"

Kent: "Somehow or another she may not have been watching him."

Ashley Cameron is scheduled to take the stand in her own defense tomorrow. Siouxland News will be in the courtroom as the trial wraps up.