(DETROIT) - The live-in girlfriend of D’Andre Lane took the stand, saying she heard Lane beat his daughter the night before she went missing in December.
The woman, whose identity was ordered to be concealed by a judge, said Lane used a homemade paddle that consisted of a wooden stick, a sponge and duct tape to discipline 2-year-old Bianca Jones when she had accidents while toilet training. The girlfriend said she heard the toddler get spanked three or four times, and was crying harder than ever before. After sometime, the woman, who had been sleeping upstairs, said she no longer heard the child crying. She hesitantly admitted in court that she never again heard Bianca make a noise. The next day, her father would claim she was taken during an alleged carjacking.
The mother of the missing toddler also took the stand for the second day of Lane's preliminary hearing.
Banika Jones, who was visibly reserved on the stand, told the court she had no reason not to trust Bianca's father with taking care of her.
Jones left Bianca with Lane on November 26, and asked him to keep the girl for a few weeks, almost until Christmas. Lane had told Banika he wanted to celebrate the little girl's second birthday together. It was the first time Bianca stayed with her father alone overnight.
Jones has repeatedly stood by Lane, saying he wouldn't harm their daughter. On the stand, she testified saying she saw him spank the girl on her behind once when she was jumping off furniture.
Outside the courtroom, Jones told Action News it was the only time she saw Lane hit the child. She also said she would also have disciplined the child the same way, but Lane was nearer to the girl at the time.
Following Jones' testimony, Bianca's aunt, Mary Ford-Gandy, took the stand. After allegedly being carjacked, Lane ran to her nearby home. Ford-Gandy said it took nearly 15 minutes to console a hysterical Lane before she was able to call 9-1-1 for help.
The tapes were played in court during the hearing. Ford-Gandy repeatedly was heard telling Lane to calm down so she could get information from him.
D'Andre Lane has pleaded not guilty to First-Degree Felony Murder and First-Degree Felony Child Abuse.
Lane claimed Bianca was kidnapped back in December during a carjacking. She hasn’t been seen since.
During an April 17 hearing, Bianca’s 8-year old sister testified in the case about the day her sister disappeared.
That morning, she said, her father carried a silent Bianca to the car, covered with a blanket.
He strapped the child in next to her, and the toddler didn’t move or make a sound, she said.
Prosecutors contend that there is “considerable” evidence linking Lane to the abuse and murder charges against him.
Lane is being held in a secure area of the Wayne County Jail on a $3 million bond.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled to continue on May 8.
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