LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Testimony on the first day of the Kenneth Wilcox kidnapping trial revealed Wilcox began planning a trip to Six Flags three weeks before the October 24, 2008 departure date.
Jurors also learned more details about the relationship between Wilcox and the children he took to Oklahoma. He lived in the same apartment building as the families of all three children - Angel Contreras, Jasmine Bazan and Lashawnda Theriac.
Angel and Jasmine's parents told the jury Tuesday they consider Wilcox a friend and they would eat dinner together. Juanita Ortiz told the jury because Wilcox had no gas in his apartment he and his son would shower at her family's apartment. All three parents told the court they had no reason to believe Wilcox would not take their children to Six Flags in Arlington like he said he would.
Kenneth Wilcox told NewsChannel 11 that he "didn't kidnap no kids," but that is a decision jurors will make. Day one held hours of testimony from nine witnesses. Jurors heard from local law enforcement, family of the children taken across state lines and Wilcox's son and ex-wife.
The parents said Wilcox spoke with them and they gave Wilcox permission to take the children to Six Flags, but they were also under the assumption a female adult and Wilcox's son were also making the trip to the theme park.
The trip to Arlington began with a two hour drive to Amarillo in Wilcox's Ford Escort. That's where he dropped his 13-year-old son off with his shot records, baby book, clothes and his Play Station 2. His son told the court he decided not to go to Six Flags the week before the trip. He told jurors his dad, Wilcox, told him to keep his decision quiet.
Ladonna Wilcox, Kenneth Wilcox's ex-wife, told the court she was also under the impression that Wilcox and the kids were headed to Six Flags after a stop in Texarkana, where he was picking up a truck from his brother.
Wilcox's attorney stressed that while the planning of the trip was horrible, he did have permission to leave with the children and told jurors that would be a critical element to the case.
Testimony from all three parents revealed confusion as to the exact itinerary of the children's trip. All three told the court that Idabel, Oklahoma was never in the picture and permission would not have been given if they had known Six Flags was not on the agenda.
Testimony resumes Wednesday morning at 8:30.
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