Opening statements expected in murder trial

Wednesday, April 23rd 2008, 9:40 am
By: News 9

Opening statements are expected to begin Wednesday morning in the murder trial of Vicki Chiles, who is charged with killing a two-year-old boy in her care.

Prosecutors said Chiles suffocated Joshua Minton with masking tape at her day care facility. Social workers were on their way to shut down Chiles' day care for other abuse allegations when they discovered the boy's lifeless body, prosecutors said.

It's been 11 months since Minton died, but his family said the pain felt by the loss is still fresh.

"A sweet little boy. I mean he was precious.  He was just a good little guy," said Joshua's grandmother, Margie McDonald. "We really miss him. We just do.  And, I don't think we'll ever stop."

Minton was in daycare when Chiles allegedly bound the toddler's hands and face with masking tape, suffocating him.  Those who know Chiles describe her as a kind and loving person, who enjoyed working with children.

"It's always a hurt feeling to see someone that you love face with circumstances that they can't change," said Chiles' friend, Gloria Drew.

McDonald said two families were ruined that day last May.  And, she's not sure she can relive the details of Joshua's death, during the trial.

"It's just gonna be hard. I hope that I can stay in there and hear it. I don't know that I can," said McDonald.

As hard as the next few days promise to be, McDonald said the trial will help close a chapter for her and her family.

"Soon it will be over with and we will be able to get on with our lives, ya know.  It's a part of the healing process," she said.