On Monday, April 16, 2018, three officers gave an emotional testimony during the opening day trial of Deandre Jerome Dorch. As My San Antonio reported, on April 28, 2016, two children were found bound in the backyard of a San Antonio home where Dorch and Porucha Phillips lived. Deputy Louis Estrada broke down in tears when he had to relive the crime scene and describe it on the stand. As described in the video below, the police were called when the neighbor heard two children — a 3-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy — crying.
The neighbor had to get a ladder to look over the privacy fence and saw the little girl with her hands tied above her head. Deputy Estrada said she was tied with a dog leash and that she was bound so tightly that she couldn’t sit or stand. The boy was found motionless but alive. His ankle was chained to a dog tether, his shorts were to his knees, and he was surrounded by feces. As reported by Dallas News, the two children suffered hundreds of injuries and scars “from months, perhaps years, of abuse.”
During their investigation, deputies found six other children — ranging between the ages of 10 months and 10-years-old — roaming the house with no adult supervision. It was determined later that at least three of the kids found in the home belonged to 38-year-olds Dorch and Phillips. The two children found tied outside the home belonged to their friend, 32-year-old Cheryl Reed, who was in California at the time for a custody battle (all three suspects previously lived in California).
As investigators worked on the scene, Phillips drove up to the house. Phillips was arrested immediately, Dorch turned himself in days later, and Reed was arrested a week later.
As San Antonio Express-News reported, during the first day of the Dorch trial on Monday, Deputy Calvin Anderson gave an emotional testimony. He held up the chain that was used to tie the young boy to the dog tether, and as photographs were being shown of the 3-year-old girl’s bound wrists, Anderson covered his eyes and began to cry. When asked by prosecutor Karl Alexander if this one got to him, Anders answered.
“Absolutely. There’s certain things in law enforcement you expect to come across. However, there’s things you don’t expect to see and really don’t expect will happen. It takes you back a bit.”
In October of 2017, Phillips pleaded guilty to two counts of injury to a child-serious bodily injury. She was sentenced to 50 years in prison for each charge, and the sentences will run concurrently. Reed is still in jail awaiting trial. Dorch claims that he was at work and worked a lot of overnight shifts, and that he didn’t know what was going on during those nighttime hours. Prosecutors say they will prove that he did know what was going on in the house that he resided in, and that he could have and should have done more to save those children.