JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Prosecutors and attorneys for a man charged in the disappearance of a Jacksonville toddler are fighting over whether a 5-year-old girl can be called as a witness.
Authorities have said William Ruben Ebron Jr. was caring for the girl and 21-month-old Lonzie Barton when Lonzie disappeared July 24. Ebron and Lonzie’s mother are charged with child neglect and giving false information to police.
First Coast News reports (http://fcnews.tv/1Ut0ngP ) Ebron’s attorneys filed documents last week to call the 5-year-old as a witness. Prosecutors want the court to strike her as a witness or hold a competency hearing for her.
According to court documents, prosecutors say the girl was traumatized and further questioning would harm her. They also argue she has told investigators multiple versions of what happened, making her testimony unreliable.