ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The prosecution in Jessica Beagley’s hot-sauce child abuse trial played video Thursday of Beagley disciplining her children. The tapes were meant to demonstrate to “The Dr. Phil Show” that the Anchorage mother was “angry” enough to be on an upcoming segment about enraged parents.
One of the tapes showed a stressful scene of Beagley getting her children ready for school.
"I've been yelling at you for the past 17 minutes to eat your breakfast. Eat it!" Beagley yelled at her daughter.
In the video, the children are late for school again and their mother is rushing them out the door. On the way to school, the children are told to listen and obey their teacher. If they don't, she threatens to keep them from going trick-or-treating -- or worse.
"If you lie, your mouth gets hot or soapy," Beagley told her young children.
“Dr. Phil” producers encouraged Beagley to capture video of herself that showed she was an “angry mom.” Beagley is accused of forcing one of her sons to take cold showers as punishment for misbehavior, and making the boy swish hot sauce in his mouth for lying.
The first tapes Beagley sent weren't sensational enough to entice the producers, which prompted her to capture video of punishments involving hot sauce and cold showers.
An expert estimates the water at the house would have been approximately 52 degrees -- a temperature he described as cold water.
Beagley claimed one of her adopted sons was out of control. The boy had been diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, an emotional disorder which makes him act out. Beagley says she wanted to appear on “Dr. Phil” for advice on how to handle the child.
In court Thursday, the children's elementary-school teachers told the jury the children usually listened closely and understood. One boy's kindergarten teacher, Olga Pierkarski, said the 5-year-old had no disciplinary problems, although says he had a short attention span.
The teachers said Jessica Beagley never asked for help with disciplinary problems or for a referral for professional help.
Beagley was involved in her children's schoolwork and frequently visited their teachers to discuss issues.
The children's first-grade teacher, Moira Van Alstine, testified Beagley told her she was going on “Dr. Phil” because friends told her she was an angry mom.
Beagley allegedly asked the teacher not to report what she had told her. Van Alstine said she wasn't sure what Beagley meant, but said she had an obligation to report child abuse and discussed it with her principal.
A “Dr. Phil” viewer contacted police about the alleged abuse after seeing Beagley on the segment entitled "Mommy Confessions."
The child diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder was put on medication after Beagley's appearance on the show. His teacher said they noticed he had become more focused on his school work and better behaved.
Contact Ashton Goodell at firstname.lastname@example.org