Testimony Begins in Toddler Murder

By Lindsay Nielsen

August 14, 2012 Updated Aug 14, 2012 at 6:21 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It was a sad day in Broome County Court Tuesday for many witnesses who recalled the life of a 2-year-old boy, a life they say was filled with mental and physical abuse.

Police say Lyric Taft was found beaten to death in his bed on December 30th, 2010.

His own mother, Veronica Taft, 25, is charged with his murder.

Witnesses say when Lyric was just two weeks old he, along with his two sisters, were taken away from Taft by Child Protective Services for a period of time.

Some witnesses stated it was because Taft abused her children and was always hanging out with "bad men" leading to domestic violence incidents.

A woman who took care of Lyric on and off for about six months says she saw Taft repeatedly shove her son off a couch and onto the ground as he tried to get her attention.

Other babysitters said they noticed the signs and witnessed abuse, saying Taft would strike his back with a metal ladle, hit him in the head, lock him in a dark room often, call him vulgar names and use racial slurs.

One babysitter who had lived in Taft's home said she witnessed an incident of sexual abuse.

That same witness said Taft was a prostitute and other women would prostitute in her home, also that she had seen drugs being made and sold there.

All of the witnesses said they had called Child Protective Services or had someone they knew call to report what they had seen

The Prosecution told jurors Lyric was beaten so badly he had severe trauma to his head and lacerations on his liver.

During cross-examination the defense attempted to point out discrepancies in witness testimony and to some insinuated they disliked Taft and constantly reported her to CPS because of it.

The trial continues Wednesday morning.