SAN ANTONIO – Testimony began Monday in the trial of a man charged with abusing children who were found bound with chains and dog leashes in a backyard.
Deandre Dorch, 36, is the father of several of eight children who were rescued from a home in Northeast Bexar County.
Calvin Anderson, a crime scene deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, testified that he and other deputies arrived at the home in the 8100 block of Chipping Drive in April 2016.
Anderson displayed in court parts of a leash he recovered from the living room floor, a leash that was attached to a garage door and a chain found in the backyard.
"It kind of takes you back a little bit. It takes you back. And as tough as I think I am sometimes to handle police business. So, I apologize if I lost my composure," Anderson said.
Also testifying was Michelle Williams, a neighbor who reported to law enforcement about hearing children cry.
"It was loud crying. It started out. And the crying got lower, lower. Like the baby was tired of crying," she said. "But still moaning because apparently there was something wrong."
Williams had walked to a nearby store to make the 911 call with another neighbor, Rosemary Alvarado, who also testified on Monday that she heard babies screaming and crying at all hours of the day and night.
Alvarado also testified that she had climbed up a ladder that day and when she looked over the fence she saw children chained to the ground.
"When he looked over the fence, he flashed the light and saw chains," Alvarado said. "He saw babies tied up with chains around their neck."
A forensic nurse examiner showed photos of one of the victims, who had been tied up with a leash.
The young child had scars, bruises and open wounds all over face and body.
Porucha Phillips, Dorch's wife, pleaded guilty in October to charges of injury to a child and serious bodily injury to a child. Phillips will have to pay a $3,000 fine and must also serve 50 years in prison per child. The sentences will run concurrently. Phillips has to serve a minimum of half that prison sentence to be eligible for parole.
Cheryl Reed, the mother of the children, is awaiting trial. Reed left the children in the care of Phillips and Dorch while she was in California.