Young Girls On The Stand Wanting Justice For Their Sister
Adorable little girls get a heartbreaking introduction to the grownup world of courtrooms and lawyers.
Triplets Gabrelle and Isabella Rossman were testifying about the tragic death of their third sister.
Delaney Rossman was killed when a driver crashed into the front yard where the three girls were playing.
When a lawyer asked Isabella when testifying, "How many sisters do you have?"
She replies, "Now I have two. I used to have three"
Betty-Jo Tagerson was on trial, accused of manslaughter.
Prosecutors said that after an argument with her boyfriend, she jumped in her Jeep, floored it, and lost control, crashing into the yard where the girls were playing.
Little Isabella was the first of the two surviving triplets to testify.
Given that she is so young, the prosecutor had to establish that she could tell fact from fantasty. So he asked a question about Spongebob Squarepants, if the character was real or make believe.
The brave little girl's answer, "Make believe, oh my goodness"
Isabella told how the three sisters, five-years-old at the time, were playing at a friend's house when the car crashed into them.
She described seeing her critically-injured sister on the ground.
"I remember I saw her laying down on the grass. She wouldn't breathe. But I remember somebody helping her, trying to breathe, but she still wouldn't breathe," said Isabella.
Tears ran down the accused woman's face as the little girl testified.
Once Isabella had finished, she proudly walked backed to the public benches, where her mom was waiting to take her hand.
Moments later, the other surviving triplet, Gabrielle, wearing an identical outfit, was called to the stand.
Gabrielle was badly hurt in the crash and was in a medically induced coma for days, but recovered.
She managed a nervous, gap-toothed smile as she waited for the grown-ups to start the questions.
She recalled the ill-fated playdate to the court.
Danielle Malm told INSIDE EDITION why she let her daughters testify.
"They needed to tell that story and they needed for people to hear what they had to say. So that they could see that the justice system would work and work well," said Malm.
The accused woman, Tagerson, took the stand to tell how she had a blackout behind the wheel after the fight with her boyfriend.
"As I drove away, I passed out in the car and I don't know what happened," said Tagerson to the court.
But she was convicted on all counts earlier this week. She faces up to 25 years at her sentencing.
At their home near Tampa, Florida the girls and their older sister share memories of Delaney at a shrine the family have set up in the yard.
And when they grow up, they'll know they played their part in winning justice for their lost sister.