Although claiming "battered wife" syndrome as a defence, yesterday in a stunning admission Robyn Drown testified that she would hit her children on her own accord and without prompting without prompting from her husband Graydon Drown. She also said she never stopped her husband from beating them.
Citing a movie of Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," phrases from the Bible, and being called names such as "puke," "T-Rex" or "Fred", Robyn Drown's public attorney Brooke Holstedt framed a defence of "battered wife" syndrome. Patricia Warford, a psychologist from Newberg and appearing for the defense, testified as an expert witness on Thursday. She explained to the jury the psychology of trauma and described Robyn Drown as a battered woman. Robyn Drown testified that her husband abused her on several occasions and often called her demeaning names such as "puke," "T-Rex" or "Fred." She hardly mentioned how she treated the children until she was cross-examined by Marion County prosecutor Sarah Morris.
Morris asked Robyn Drown if she confided in anyone about her husband's alleged abuse against her.
"No. I didn't want to go around complaining," Robyn Drown said.
She told the jury that the punishment of her children by their father wouldn't last long if she allowed her husband to hit the children. She claimed that she didn't intervene because it would only anger her husband more and cause them to be punished harder, although she also admitted that she had never attempted to step in front of Graydon Drown to stop him.
Morris asked "Did you ever step in front of Mr. Drown and take the blows yourself?" .
"No, I never did," Robyn Drown replied.
Morris asked whether she ever tried to take objects away from her husband when her children were being beaten.
"It was futile," she said. "He's much stronger than me."
The court was shocked yesterday by at the presentation of an audio tape, recorded in secrecy by the oldest son, in which the six year old daughter was allegedly beaten severely with a fiberglass tent pole with a knotted cord dangling from it for over two minutes, while a voice of a woman, identified as Robyn Kay Drown chatted in the background. According to the tape, at no time during the beating did anyone come to the defence of the little child who screamed and cried while her father called her "rebellious" and mentioned "the promised land". There also appeared on the tape to be at least one other child present during the beating.
Robyn Drown was indicted with her husband Graydon Drown on 25 counts of second-degree assault and criminal mistreatment of nine of their children. Alleged weapons of abuse include a metal pipe, a switch, 2-by-4 boards and other household objects such as a fiberglass tent pole with a knotted cord, and wooden spoons.
Graydon Drown's attorneys will present his defence today.