Peggy Starr

Apr 14, 2015 5:23 PM

School principal said Starr's victim was 'very small'

DOVER - The trial for Peggy Starr, who is accused of helping to starve a young boy from 2008-10, continued Tuesday at Strafford County Superior Court.

Starr, 57, of Nottingham, allegedly withheld food from the child, who was living with Starr and her daughter, Christina Thomas, at the time of the alleged abuse. Thomas was the legal guardian for the child's mother.

Deputy County Attorney Alysia Cassotis called retired elementary school principal Barbara Reed to the witness stand Tuesday afternoon. Reed said when she met the child, he was developmentally and physically delayed.

"He was very, very small. Very short," Reed said.

Reed continued to say Thomas and Starr did not want the child to have snacktime at school, saying it caused "vomiting issues" at home.

When authorities removed the boy from his New Durham home, he was 6-years-old and only 23 pounds.

Sergeant Reggie Meattey of the New Durham Police Department also testified on Tuesday afternoon. Meattey said he went to where Thomas was living on March 3, 2009, to check on the boy after receiving a report from DCYF that the child was malnurished.

On cross-examination, Meattey admitted that he reported back to officials that the child appeared to be "perfectly healthy."

Meattey also told public defender David Betancourt that he did not notice the dog kennel where the child was allegedly held, or the chains used to allegedly confine him to his bunk bed.

In 2013, Thomas was sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for her involvement in the child's abuse. Starr could suffer the same fate if Judge Steven Houran decides she is guilty after listening to the evidence against her.

Starr's trial is expected to last another one to two weeks.

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    Barbara Reed
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    Sgt. Reggie Meattey
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    Judge Steven Houran
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