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Boy says he lied out of fear of Paddock


Boy says he lied out of fear of Paddock

Adoptive mom accused of murder in boy's death

Mandy Locke, Staff Writer

SMITHFIELD - Ray Paddock told jurors Thursday that he lied to deputies and social workers about what went on in his home because he feared his adoptive mother Lynn Paddock would beat him.

Ray, 17, said on the witness stand that he told deputies lies to cover for his mother after his 4-year-old brother, Sean, died.

"I didn't want to be the one, if she went home with us that night, to be the one who told on her," Ray told jurors. "I knew it wouldn't go well for the one who did."

Paddock, 47, is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of Sean. He was bound so tightly in blankets one night in February 2006 that he suffocated.

On Thursday morning, defense attorneys picked through each of the statements Ray made to authorities after Sean's death. They grilled him on when he told the truth and when he had fibbed. Ray said that he slowly felt comfortable confessing what happened after he was put into a foster home.

Ray said the children helped shield Paddock, even to a social worker from Children's Home Society, a private adoption agency that placed six children with the Paddocks since 1996.

Ray said they posed for pictures to send to the adoption agency to pretend that their family was normal. The photos were a ruse, Ray said, shot to convince social workers that the children led enriched lives with the Paddocks. "We went to Florida and Alabama, but those were rare trips," Ray said. "It was all put on to make it look like we were one big happy family."

Paddock's children have accused her of beating them with plastic plumbing pipe, forcing them to exercise for hours on end and taping their mouths shut to keep them quiet.

Four of Paddocks' children have offered their stories of abuse. The two oldest, Jessy and Tami, are expected to testify today.

2008 May 30