Harper family appalled by Brothers testimony

Harper family appalled by Brothers testimony »Play Video
The Harper family says its hurt by the testimony murder suspect Vincent Brothers gave in his own defense.

"I am hurt and appalled at statements he made that are simply not true," said Elaine Byrd, sister to murder victim Joanie Harper.

Elaine Byrd asked the media to meet her outside Superior Court Thursday afternoon after testimony in the murder trial wrapped up for the day. She told 29 Eyewitness News she and her family are hurt and appalled by what Brothers said on the witness stand.

During his testimony Brothers talked about his two trips to Ohio. Something he said about those two trips upset the Harper family. Byrd would not go into specifics for fear of jeopardizing the trial.

The prosecution has argued that Brothers traveled to Ohio in April as a "dry run" for the July trip. The prosecution argues that Brothers traveled to Ohio in July, rented a car, and drove back to Bakersfield to commit the murders. The defense argues that Brothers was in Columbus, Ohio on July 6, 2003 the day when the prosecution believes the Harper family was killed at their home on Third and P streets in Bakersfield.

Elaine Byrd says she's tried to keep an open mind during the murder trial. But she believes Brothers is not telling the truth.

"Lying is not a defense, it is not an option for a defense," said Byrd. When asked by 29 Eyewitness News if she believed Brothers was guilty of committing the murders Byrd said, "My gut feeling is that he is lying."

Brothers is on trial accused of murdering his estranged wife Joanie Harper, their three children and his mother-in-law Earnestine Harper. He could face the death penalty if convicted. Testimony resumes in the case on Monday.