Prosecutors are expected to rest their case Friday in the trial of a Jupiter father accused of locking his adopted son in a box-like structure in the garage.
Tim Ferriter, 48, is on trial facing charges of child abuse, false imprisonment and child neglect. His wife is facing the same charges in a separate trial that has not yet begun.
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The trial resumed Friday with jurors watching more Ring camera videos showing the Ferriters’ interactions with the teenager in the 8×8 enclosure specially constructed for him in the garage of the couple’s Egret Landing home.
In one video from Jan. 11, 2022, the teen could be heard screaming and talking to himself.
A child psychologist testified Thursday that the teenager’s treatment essentially confined to a makeshift room without access to food, water or a bathroom was “malicious” and caused severe psychological trauma.
“I felt it was severely harmful and very psychologically damaging to [him],” Dr. Wade Myers, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, testified.
WATCH: Child psychologist says teen’s treatment ‘severely harmful’
Dr. Wade Myers calls treatment of Tim Ferriter’s son ‘severely harmful’
“And why is that?” Assistant State Attorney Brianna Coakley asked him.
“It was a longstanding pattern of harsh, cruel and demeaning actions toward this child, as well as close to three years of essentially solitary confinement when he was not in school, as well as really sadistic punishments while he was locked away in the room,” Myers said.
Myers spent hours on the witness stand being cross-examined by defense attorney Khurrum Wahid, who tried to poke holes in the doctor’s assessment.
“To opine that someone’s malicious would not be a psychiatric opinion, correct?” Wahid asked. “It would not require your specialty, correct?”
“That’s correct,” Myers said.
“OK, so that opinion is you as a layperson,” Wahid said. “That’s your opinion, just as it would be, like, mine or anyone in the audience.”
WATCH: Defense attorney challenges doctor on use of word ‘malicious’
Defense attorney challenges Dr. Wade Myers on use of word ‘malicious’
“No, I’m making a clinical assessment of a parent’s behavior toward their child,” Myers said. “It’s a clinical observation based on video evidence, based on other evidence and based on working with abused children my entire career, as well as abusive parents.”
Jurors spent the morning watching Ring camera videos that documented the Ferriters’ interactions with their son.
In one of the videos from Jan. 8, 2022, Tracy Ferriter could be heard chiding her son for not thanking her for bringing him food to eat.
“OK, ‘Thank you, mama, for bringing me a snack,'” she said. “‘Yeah, I’m hungry. Yeah, that’d be great.'”
WATCH: Prosecutors play Ring videos to jury
Prosecutors play Ring camera videos chronicling actions of Tim and Tracy Ferriter
Throughout the trial, defense attorneys have tried to portray Ferriter’s son as a problem child whose repeated behavioral issues impacted not just the home life but also the classroom.
The teen, who testified Wednesday, admitted to stealing, bringing a box cutter to school, injuring his baby brother while they were living in Arizona and, when the boy was 4, offering him a beer to conduct an experiment.
But he also described to jurors in detail what it was like living with the Ferriters, locked away from the rest of his family with nothing but a mattress, a desk and a bucket in which to defecate.
His older sister, who was also adopted, testified Wednesday that her brother was frequently in trouble, “hyper” and difficult to control.
Before trial resumed Friday, Judge Howard Coates denied a motion to reconsider rulings.
“I find this somewhat unusual because it’s literally a motion to reconsider almost every major ruling I’ve made during the course of this trial, so the motion is denied without further argument,” he said.
The Ferriters were arrested by Jupiter police in February 2022, shortly after the family moved back to South Florida. They had previously lived in Jupiter before moving to Arizona for a few years.
Tracy Ferriter has been present in the courtroom throughout the trial, sitting behind her husband in the gallery and listening to testimony from her children and the rest of the state’s witnesses.
The Department of Children and Families removed the Ferriters’ children from the home after their arrest.
&amp;lt;section data-block=”SingleChoice”&amp;gt;&amp;lt;h2&amp;gt;Do you think the state is making its case against Tim Ferriter?&amp;lt;/h2&amp;gt;&amp;lt;ul&amp;gt;&amp;lt;li&amp;gt;Yes, the defense is grasping for anything to deflect attention away from Tim Ferriter.&amp;lt;/li&amp;gt;&amp;lt;li&amp;gt;No, it&amp;amp;#039;s more complicated than it seems.&amp;lt;/li&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/ul&amp;gt;&amp;lt;/section&amp;gt;