NewsWest Boys Trial


Oldest West child says Orrin died in 2020 recorded interview

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Posted at 12:53 PM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 13:18:23-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — In a recorded interview, Trezell and Jacqueline West’s oldest biological child said his adoptive brother Orrin choked while they were living at the Casa Loma apartments in Bakersfield. He said, in the recording, that he knew Orrin was dead because he “touched his body and it was cold.

On Tuesday, the prosecution continued calling the Wests’ children to testify. The California City couple is charged with second-degree murder in the disappearance of their adoptive sons Orrin and Orson.

The couple’s 12-year-old child took the stand Tuesday morning. During direct examination, Prosecutor Eric Smith played recorded interviews between a woman and the child from December 2020, just a few days after Orrin and Orson were reported missing. At the time, the child was 10 years old.

In the interview recorded Dec. 22, 2020, the child tells the woman that Orrin and Orson weren’t in the van when his parents took the rest of the boys to stay with their grandmother, Wanda West, on Dec. 19, 2020. The child said his parents told them that Orrin and Orson were with their other grandmother, Maria Martinez.

In another interview recorded Dec. 28, 2020, the same child is interviewed by the same woman a few days later. The child tells the woman that he and his brothers were taken from their parents because of Orrin and Orson. The child tells the woman that Orson was taken to his grandmother Maria’s house and that Orrin had choked in his sleep.

When the woman asks the child about Orrin choking he said they didn’t find out until the morning after. He said, in the recording, that his parents told him because he was the oldest. He said his parents asked him if they should keep it a secret. He said they told him that if anyone found out they would be taken away.

In the recording, the child tells the woman that the night he said Orrin died, Orson was eating with his mouth open, so his parents blended his food and put it in a bottle. The child said Orrin stole the bottle from Orson, so his parents told Orson to punch Orrin, according to the recording.

The child said, in the recording, when they moved to Cal City, Orrin’s bed was brought and put in a bedroom with the couple’s other adoptive sons. In the recording the woman asked the child how he felt about Orrin’s bed being placed in the room if he knew that Orrin was dead. The child said he wouldn’t say anything because that’s what he and his parents promised. The child, in the recording, told the woman that his parents would say Orrin was with grandma and would be coming back whenever the boys asked.

The child went on to tell the woman in the recording that while Orson was with them when they moved to Cal City, he was only there for four days. He said after that, his parents told him that they had taken Orson to grandma’s and that we would be back. In the recording, the child said he didn’t see Orson after that.

The woman in the recording asked the child about the night Orrin and Orson were reported missing. She asked him what he thought was happening when police arrived at their grandmother’s home.

The child, in the recording, said he though maybe Orrin and Orson’s biological parents had called the police. He said he then saw on the news that his parents had reported both boys missing. He said that’s when he found out his dad had called the police. In the recording, he said he was confused as to why they reported Orson missing as well and that his dad was lying about Orrin in the interview.