HOUSTON—An adolescent girl who has witnessed obscene screaming matches and violent confrontations between her parents told a story in court Thursday that could help land her step-father in prison.
Her testimony came in the trial of Michael Brown, the wealthy former hand surgeon whose TV commercials used to feature one of his children describing herself as "daddy’s baby girl." He’s accused of assaulting his wife during a raucous fight inside their lavish Memorial Drive home.
"I heard screaming and crying," the 13-year-old step-daughter recalled, testifying that the fight awakened her from her sleep.
"I know that he was chasing my mom around the living room," she said.
Brown’s fourth wife, Rachel, a high school dropout now living a lavish lifestyle that’s costing her husband more than $100,000 a month, testified Wednesday that her enraged husband chased her around their living room, threw vases at her and twisted her arm behind her back.
His step-daughter testified that she heard her mother scream and saw her step-father grab her mother’s arm. She also said she saw him throw what she thought was a champagne glass at her mother.
Her statement corroborated much of what her mother said on the stand a day earlier. She also said one of the family’s four nannies helped break up the fight.
Her appearance in the courtroom marked the first time she’d seen her step-father since the day of the fight, she testified.
As bad as the testimony was about the husband, witnesses described the wife also screaming obscenities and goading her spouse, whom she suspected of having an affair. Testimony indicated she yelled the names of several women and asked, in crude language, which one he was sleeping with.
Rachel Brown returned to the stand and, at the insistence of her husband’s lawyer, elaborated on her relationship with retired Houston Astros legend Jeff Bagwell. She testified that she has vacationed with him in Cabo San Lucas and San Diego since they started dating last January.
It seems, though, thatBagwell probably won’t testify. Defense attorneys would like to put him on the stand, but they say they can’t find him to serve him a subpoena. Rachel told the court he knows about the subpoena, but he’s out of town.
Bagwell's second wife, Ericka, filed for divorce in October 2010. The case is still pending.
The prosecution rested its case Thursday. Testimony is expected to continue on Monday.
Brown pled no contest to accusations he assaulted his third wife in 2002. If he’s convicted in this case, he could go to prison for as long as 10 years.