EDGARD, La. -- A Reserve couple accused of killing their 8-year-old son back in 2008 and who made national headlines on 'America's Most Wanted' TV show when they fled criminal proceedings represented themselves in a St. John the Baptist Parish trial.
And the father on trial for murder called his own sons to the stand to testify.
Five of Errol Victor's sons waited Tuesday outside of district court in Edgard, some being called as witnesses. They were questioned by their own father, who is acting as his own attorney, defending himself and his wife Tonya Victor in the second-degree murder case of her 8-year-old son back in 2008.
Police say M.L. Lloyd III was beaten to death by his stepfather for taking an ice cream snack. The Victors say he had an asthma attack when fighting with his brothers, step brothers and half brothers. Medical authorities say it was from being strangled.
The couple lived in a large, unfinished house with his six sons, her five sons and their two sons, 13 children in all.
In previous reports, police said the boys worked day and night building the house with their own hands.
'Many officers here have seen the kids there doing that type of physical labor. There's no question about it. Can't deny that. That did happen. We did see it ourselves,' said Mike Tregre in 2008, who is now the sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish.
Neighbors claimed there was strict physical discipline.
'From (2:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.), they had to run. Some ran with bricks, like this, in they hand. They couldn't drop it, no matter how hot it was. Even in the rain. They ran in the rain' said Jessie Ferrygood, a neighbor back in 2008.
With Victor, the defendant acting as his own attorney, there were many times when his lack of courtroom experience became evident, causing the prosecution to object. Usually these objections were sustained.
He also moved for a mistrial a few times. All were overruled.
The Victors objected to prosecutors showing one of his sons a picture of M.L. with bruises on his arms after death. It was overruled.
So far in this case, Tonya's sons are claiming their stepfather Errol was the disciplinarian. His son's claim it was the stepmother Tonya who handed out what they call 'whoopings.'
We interviewed two people on camera who are supporting the Victors. One is a doctor who was not qualified by the judge to be an expert witness. Another is a court watcher who believes the Victors' civil rights have been violated.
But the court admonished them for talking to us due to a gag order.