Laura Cottam took the stand in her parents' defense Friday, defying the prosecution's depiction of her as her parents' victim and saying she decided on her own against buying food with tithe money.
Laura Cottam's 14-year-old brother, Eric, starved to death in January. Her parents, Larry Cottam, 39, and Leona Cottam, 38, are charged with third-degree murder in his death.
But during her testimony Friday, Laura Cottam said her parents never stopped her from going for help or using the money to buy food. Laura said she didn't use the tithes because she believed tithe money was God's money. Using it would be like stealing, she said.