Disturbing testimony in murder case of girl found in 'makeshift - WNEM TV 5

Disturbing testimony in murder case of girl found in 'makeshift swaddle'

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Explosive words came from a Michigan prosecutor during opening statements Thursday morning in the murder trial of a Kalamazoo couple.

Kelly Ballinger and Matt Longnecker are being tried at the same time with separate juries. Police said Longnecker and Ballinger wrapped Ballinger's four-year-old daughter, Deseray Thompson, in blankets and then duct taped her so the girl couldn't get out of bed at night.

“It was a psychological move so she couldn't scream. She would have less air to breathe. She could not move, she could not breathe, and on the night she died, she actually vomited,” said Michael Stein, Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney.

Longnecker’s mother was the one who called 9-1-1.

“She was laying there still, and she was bleeding from the mouth,” the woman said.

Police said Deseray still had duct tape over her head when they were called to Ballinger's home last July. The little girl wasn't breathing and officers weren't able to bring her back.

Both Longnecker and Ballinger are being charged with murder, child abuse and possession of meth.

The couple admitted to investigators they were smoking meth on the evening of Deseray's death.

“What did the defendant do? He ate pancakes while she died,” Stein said.

Ballinger admitted to abusing her daughter and not coming to her rescue while she gasped for air moments before she died.

“I didn't do anything. I walked away,” Ballinger was heard saying in a police video.

The 4-year-old’s cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation and possible hypothermia. A medical examiner testified they were several areas of bruising and contusions on her body.

For a series of Facebook messages between the couple, Longenecker bragged about the abuse and demanded Ballinger beat Deseray.

“Remember you must hit Des when you come home. She is expecting an ass whooping,” Stein read from a message in court.

Ballinger's attorney claims those messages made her feel threatened to carry out the abuse.  

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