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Emotional testimony headlines opening day of child neglect murder trial

Posted at 5:41 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 05:41:39-05

Mary Welch weighed just eight pounds when she was found dead in her crib in 2018.

Seth Welch and is wife Tatiana are both charged with murder and child abuse. Today's trial focused solely on Seth.

Prosecutors say is daughter Mary died of malnutrition as a result of neglect.

When paramedics arrived on scene, there was confusion because they were told Mary was 10 months old, but she looked like a newborn because of how small she was.

Photos of Mary were shown in court, leading to even the crime scene tech breaking down in tears during questioning.

Seth Welch was the one who called 911 that morning, but prosecutors say he took his time in doing so. The 911 call was made an hour and a half to two hours after they found her dead in her crib. The call was even made after Tatiana called into work.

Calls were also made to Seth's parents, who he referred to as his 'lawyers'. One text was sent out before a call to police about selling a goat.

Once a call was made, Seth described his daughter as "dead as a doornail" to dispatchers when asked if she was beyond help.

Prosecutors also showed photos of the couples home in disarray, full of bags of trash. One bag was even holding up the moldy mattress Mary was found on. It is said that she had been left unattended for more than 19 hours.

The defense doesn't deny the terrible conditions in the home, but say it was not murder. Instead, they say the couple was struggling to make ends meet and Seth was often left to care for the children and their farm. They say he was simply overwhelmed.

The couple claims they fed Mary regularly but admit they did not seek medical attention leading up to her death. They had severe mistrust in doctors after issues with their previous children.