Mom testifies against former boyfriend in Bennettsville homicide - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Mom testifies against former boyfriend in Bennettsville homicide by child abuse case

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Atelia Hunt broke down in tears Wednesday while describing her daughter's death. Hunt testified for the prosecution, against her former boyfriend, Mike Huckabee. Atelia Hunt broke down in tears Wednesday while describing her daughter's death. Hunt testified for the prosecution, against her former boyfriend, Mike Huckabee.
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BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. -

The mother of the child at the center of a Bennettsville homicide by child abuse case, took the stand against her former boyfriend Wednesday inside a Marlboro County Courtroom.

In 2011, investigators charged now 27-year-old Atelia Hunt and her now 31-year-old former boyfriend, Alexander "Mike" Huckabee in the death of Hunt's three-year-old daughter, Edna Trinity Hunt.

Hunt pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct toward a child, in connection to her daughter's death.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Investigators charged Huckabee with homicide by child abuse, criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree, inflicting great bodily injury on a child and unlawful conduct toward a child.

Wednesday, Hunt took the stand to testify against Huckabee.

She held back any emotion for most of the initial portion of her testimony and claimed that she did not witness any abuse of Edna, firsthand.

Hunt also testified that she saw bruises on Edna's head and was aware of the fact that Huckabee often punished the child by hitting his knuckles on her head.

She also said that Huckabee had become controlling of her and her activities and told prosecutors she did not witness any sexual abuse of the child, though she did say that she became increasingly aware that Edna was not well and did intend to take her to a doctor for treatment.

Investigators say the pair was responsible for a series of horrendous instances of abuse, which finally ended in the death of Hunt's three-year-old daughter, Edna Trinity.

During opening statements Monday, prosecutors said they would show evidence that Huckabee not only participated in the physical abuse, but also perpetrated sexual abuse against the young child.

Prosecutors told the jury that Atelia Hunt and Huckabee met on a web site back in 2011, as her marriage to the father of her two children, was ending.

The state said that after the dissolution of Hunt's marriage, she moved in with Huckabee, and brought her two young children into his Bennettsville home as well, one of whom, was Edna.

Prosecutors said that over time, Edna became the subject of tortuous abuse by the pair, and said when she was examined at a hospital near her death, medical experts found shocking signs of abuse.

The state and a nurse who testified on their behalf, said Edna had bruises from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet, that she was given a "boy's" haircut as some form of punishment, she had cigarette burns around her vagina and buttocks, that her two front teeth had been forcibly pulled from her mouth and that she had been raped within several days of her death.

Prosecutors said that an untreated urinary tract infection eventually spread into her kidneys and blood and that the child developed blood clots as a result, which eventually left her in such a state where it would have been obvious to anyone that she was on the verge of death, before the infection ultimately claimed her life.

Huckabee's attorneys argued that he was not responsible for the horrific crimes committed against the young child and placed blame squarely on the shoulder's of Atelia Hunt.

The defense conceded to the jury that there was "evil inside that house" where Hunt was abused, but said that it did not come at the hands of Huckabee.

During Wednesday's testimony, one juror became increasingly ill and was excused from his service.

He was replaced by an alternate juror.

Hunt is expected to continue her testimony Wednesday afternoon.

The trial is expected to last throughout the week in Bennettsville.

Circuit Court Judge Michael Baxley is presiding over the case.

Count on News13 to keep you covered on the developments.

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