Parents Accused of Murder: Will Julia and Codey Agree to Take the Polygraph Test?
May 6, 2014
Dr. Phil continues his interview with Tommy, who accuses his ex-wife, Julia, and her new husband, Codey, of killing his 19-month-old son, Darby, and 4-year-old stepdaughter, Kiera — an allegation the couple vehemently deny. Dr. Phil enlists the help of forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to examine the children’s autopsy reports — what are his conclusions? And, will Julia and Codey agree to take polygraph tests?
Catch up on what you missed in Part 1.
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Tommy: History of Violence?Julia’s father, Terry, says his daughter is not a violent person and loved her children. He also says that his former son-in-law, Tommy, is the one with a history of violence and should not be pointing the finger at others. “Tommy had a mean streak in him — huge anger problems,” he says. He claims that Tommy once kicked the family dog so hard that it killed the animal — an accusation Tommy denies. “Another time, he hit Julia — reached over the top of Kiera and Darby — then slugged Julia while she was on the couch, slugged her in the face,” he says. “The first word out of our little Kiera’s mouth was, ‘Daddy hit Mommy.’”
“Is there any theory under which Tommy is suspect in the death of these two children?” Dr. Phil asks Terry, who says no. “So, why is it that you felt like we needed to know what it is you just said?”
“To put everything into perspective and understand where my daughter was coming from, why she moved back and forth,” he responds.
“It seems to me that if we’re trying to figure out what happened with these children, whether he was a jerk or not a jerk, months before, years before, or whatever, is off-point,” Dr. Phil says. “The big question remains: Why and how did Darby and Kiera die?”
The Autopsy ReportsDarby’s June 2010 autopsy report lists the cause and manner of death as undetermined and states that he suffered two left-sided rib fractures, with histologic changes inconsistent with them being from birth. A Child Protective Services report, also from June 2010, stated that Darby’s broken ribs and bruising could have been caused by CPR and that additional bruising could have simply looked more severe due to post-mortem.
“That’s not going to be caused by a vaccination, or allergic reaction, or whatever, right?” Dr. Phil asks Julia, who says no. “There has been some trauma to the child.”
Julia disagrees. “Darby was a wild little boy,” she says. “You can’t tell me that my child was abused.” She says Darby would jump off the couch repeatedly, on a daily basis. “He was just like Tommy.”
“I’ve never had any broken bones before, when I was a wild child,” Tommy replies.
Dr. Phil enlists the help of forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to examine the children’s autopsy reports.
In regards to the two lesions on the back of Kiera’s left calf, Dr. Wecht says, “They are described as circular — one, whitish, with rolled edges. They are strongly suggestive of thermal injuries, and a circular configuration like that is highly suggestive of something like the burning end of a cigarette. I can’t say that that’s what it was, but that would fit in perfectly.”
“It didn’t happen,” Julia responds.
Police InvestigationsThe Kalispell, Montana Police Department has issued the following statement regarding the investigation into Darby’s death:
“This is an unsolved case that we are still looking into. As such, we are not at liberty to go into details and are not prepared to make a statement at this time.”
The Republic, Missouri Police Department has issued the following statement regarding Kiera’s case:
“On September 17, 2010, the Republic Police Department began an investigation in the death of 4-year-old Kiera. The case is still an active investigation and will remain as such until all leads have been exhausted. Due to the fact this investigation is still open, I am not at liberty to discuss or disclose any details involving the case.”
The Polygraph TestsDr. Phil asks Julia and Codey whether they’ve ever been offered the chance to take polygraph tests, and they say yes, but they both declined. “You felt like they were hostile at that point,” he says.
“Yeah, they were very hostile from the get-go,” Julia says.
“You don’t think I’m hostile, do you?” Dr. Phil asks, and Julia says no. He offers to provide the couple with polygraphs, administered by former FBI special agent Jack Trimarco, who is seated in the audience.
“It scares the crap out of me, but I have nothing to hide,” Julia says.
Dr. Phil asks Codey if he’d like to take a polygraph test, and he says no.
“The first thing police do is want to clear the parents, right?” Dr. Phil asks Jack.
“In any missing child case, we always request the parents, the last person to have been with the child, and the person who reports the disappearance to the police to take a polygraph test, to eliminate themselves from suspicion,” Jack responds.
Dr. Phil asks Julia again if she’d like to take the polygraph, and she says she doesn't feel comfortable doing so.
Codey, once again, declines.
Julia maintains that there was never an autopsy performed on Kiera and says that proving so will help them clear their names. “It’s going to put to silence all the harassment,” she says, adding that she’s willing to have Kiera’s body exhumed to find answers.
“If Codey and Julia have nothing to hide, then why decline a polygraph?” Tommy asks. “I want them to go to prison for the rest of their lives. I love Kiera, and I love Darby, and I’ll never forget them. They’re in my heart every day.”