KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Grain Valley couple facing murder and sex abuse charges was in court Friday. Two people took the stand ahead of trial, but the judge hasn’t decided if their testimonies will be allowed.
The purpose of Friday’s hearing was to determine whether witness testimony can be used in a court of law.
In this case, there were two witnesses that came before the judge, a social worker and a forensic interviewer – both had contact with the teen who said she was sexually abused by Michael Hendricks and Maggie Ybarra.
The case worker revealed the girl was 13 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Hendricks and Ybarra are each charged with child molestation. They’re also charged with first-degree murder and several other alleged crimes in the death of Kensie Aubry, who had been reported missing.
During testimony, the teen’s case worker said the girl told her Hendricks and Ybarra showed her photos of a woman naked, gagged with her hands tied.
According to testimony, the teen also told her social worker that Hendricks and Ybarra said they “cut up a body and buried it.”
The judge also heard testimony from a forensic interviewer, who said the teen told her on camera that Hendricks choked the woman to death and put her in the freezer.
She also said the teen’s demeanor changed when the foster child talked about reported sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Hendricks. His girlfriend, Ybarra, asked the teen to dress in Lingerie and get in bed with them. The teen told the interviewer she felt forced and uncomfortable. Hendricks then allegedly began to touch the teen inappropriately.
A recording of the interview with the advocacy center was also submitted in court. The judge said she will watch it and make a decision April 7.
Hendricks and Ybarra have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The trial has been pushed back several times. It’s set to begin in May.