NewsWest Boys Trial


Trezell's mother testifies she hadn't seen Orrin, Orson since before the move

Posted at 6:57 PM, May 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-03 22:04:17-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Testifying through tears, Wanda West took the stand Wednesday testifying to various times she saw her son Trezell and his family. In all those occasion, Wanda said she didn't see Orrin and Orson.

Trezell and his wife, Jacqueline West, are charged with second-degree murder of their adoptive sons Orrin and Orson. The prosecution argues that the couple killed both boys long before reporting them missing on Dec. 21, 2020.

Wanda said that when the family moved to California City in September 2020, she went to help watch the four older boys while their parents took a U-Haul back to Bakersfield. She testified that watching all six children was usually too much for her so she assumed Orrin and Orsin were with their other grandmother Maria Martinez.

On December 19, 2020, Trezell and Jacqueline brought the four older boys to stay with Wanda and her husband. Wanda testified the she saw the four boys get out of the van but didn't see Orrin and Orson. She said she again assumed they were with Martinez, until her son said they were sleeping in the back of the van.

Wanda said that night, she went with Trezell and Jacqueline to withdraw money for their trip back to Cal City. She said she sat in the front passenger seat and couldn't see or hear the boys. She said figured it was because it was dark, the van's seats were tall, and she wasn't really looking for the boys. She said she didn't say goodbye to them because Trezell and Jacqueline said they were sleeping.

As she began tearing up again, Wanda continued testifying that she had sent the family matching robes for Christmas and asked Trezell to find baby pajamas that matched for Orrin and Orson. Wanda said while it wasn't unusual for the couple to not want to send photos of the kids, she asked for one of them all in front of the fireplace in their new robes.

When asked if she ever received the photo, Wanda broke down, saying no because the boys were reported missing before Christmas.

Along with Wanda, the prosecution called to the stand the forensic interviewer Sunya Barton, who spoke with the older boys after the were taken to the Jameson Center. They also played additional recordings of those interviews.

In one of the interviews, one of the Wests' adoptive children says that he missed Orrin and Orson because he wanted to play with them.

During another interview, recorded on December 22, 2020, one of the couple's biological children says that Orrin and Orson went away because the cried a lot. Barton asked what happened what they would cry and the child said his father would spank them.

The child said his dad was "great at spanking."

When asked was he meant, the child said his dad's spanking was "hard but it didn't hurt." The boy said the only time is left a mark on Orrin and Orson was once when his father used a belt. The child said the belt had a metal part and the boys bled.

The defense questioning Barton regarding her interviews with the boys.

Alekxia Torres Stallings asked Barton if she had seen any reports or been told by law enforcement that it was a criminal investigation before the first interview. Barton said no.

Torres Stallings asked if she had spoken with another social worker or watched news coverage of the case before she conducted a second interview with one of the boys. Barton wasn't sure about the timeline.

The trial is set to resume Thursday at 9 a.m. with the prosecution expected to rest this week.