NewsWest Boys Trial


West children called to testify about where they last saw the boys

The Wests' other children offered occasionally contradictory testimony about the last time they saw Orrin and Orson. The prosecution is expected to rest their case later this week.
West Boys Disappearance Vigil, Bakersfield
Posted at 7:29 PM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 23:11:22-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The prosecution in the trial of Trezell and Jacqueline West is expected to rest this week. The California City couple is charged with the second-degree murder of their adoptive sons Orrin and Orson. On Monday morning, the couple's other children took the stand to testify about what they remember.

One former foster child of the Wests testified to witnessing alleged abuse in the home, and the couple's other children went back and forth about what they could remember. It left many still wondering what exactly happened in the West's Cal City home.

On Monday, the prosecution called the now 16-year-old former foster child, whose identity is being protected because he is a minor. The teen lived with the Wests for about a year in 2016, before Orrin and Orson were placed with them.

During his testimony, he said he was placed with the Wests along with his two foster brothers, the West's other adoptive children.

The teen said his younger brothers would be punished by Jacqueline if they didn't eat their food or if they cried. He said this punishment often involved screaming at the children.

He also testified that when the boys cried, Jacqueline would hold them down until they stopped, demonstrating the hold. The teen said she would place her arms around the child's neck and torso, and her legs around the child's legs. He said this hold could last from minutes to hours.

Before he completed his testimony, the teenager testified that he wanted to stop Jacqueline, but he was too young to do anything.

The defense pointed out that while he was in the Wests' care, the foster teen had his own bedroom, plenty of food and personal belongings, and when he finally told police about what happened, the teen confirmed in court that what officers wrote in their report wasn't exactly what he said to them.

The prosecution also called the Wests' other children to the stand, comparing their testimony to what they'd told police back in December of 2020, arguing that they believe Orrin and Orson were killed long before they were reported missing based on statements the other children made to law enforcement that night.

Body-worn camera footage from those interviews shows the Wests' older adopted son telling officers that the last time he remembered seeing Orrin and Orson was back in their Bakersfield apartment. On the stand however, the 10-year-old went back and forth, stating many times that the boys were in Cal City, that Orrin slept in his room, and that they helped the family decorate for Christmas.

In a recording of the Wests' younger adopted son, he told law enforcement that Orrin and Orson were in Cal City for a day before they left, but in court, the 9-year-old said they were there for a long time, and he remembered sharing a room with Orrin.

Then the couple's 9-year-old biological son took the stand, often answering that he did not remember when asked about that night or about his previous testimony.

During cross-examination, the defense asked the children about their favorite memories of living with Trezell and Jacqueline, and attempted to clarify some of the confusing statements.

Action in this case is set to resume Tuesday morning at 9:00 at the Kern Superior Courthouse in Downtown Bakersfield.