Sean Phillips & attorney Annette Smedley in court, 10/11/11. (Courtesy: Jeff Kiessel/Ludington Daily News)
Defense attorney Annette Smedley (left) questioning Ariel Courtland, mother of missing Baby Kate Phillips - Wednesday
LUDINGTON, Mich. (WZZM) -- The mother of a missing Ludington child has completed ten hours of testimony in the trial of the baby's father.
Sean Phillips is on trial for a charge of unlawful imprisonment, connected to the disappearance of Katherine Phillips, who was four months old when she disappeared.
Baby Kate's mother, Ariel Courtland, began testifying Tuesday.
Some of Courtland's exchanges with defense attorney Annette Smedley took a combative tone. Smedley brought to light several examples where what Courtland told detectives did not match her testimony at a preliminary examination last year. Courtland denied lying in her statements and prior testimony.
"I do not understand why you expect me to get every single detail right when he took my child that day," said Courtland.
Baby Kate disappeared on June 29, 2011. According to Courtland, she and Sean Phillips were fighting about a scheduled DNA test to prove he was the child's father. The positive result would also have meant additional child support payments from Phillips.
Instead of going to the DNA appointment, Courtland says Phillips left her apartment with Baby Kate in the backseat of his car. She called 911 -- and a recording of the call was played for the jury Wednesday.
"The father of my child took our daughter and I do not know where he went with her," said Courtland to the 911 operator.
Courtland testified at first she wasn't that concerned, but as time passed she grew anxious, telling prosecutor Paul Spaniola that Phillips once threatened to leave with their older daughter.
"One day he told me that he was going to take Hailee and flee to Canada and I would never see him again," said Courtland.
Spaniola made an attempt to provide jurors with explanations for inconsistencies in Courtland's testimony, pointing out she's done more than 20 interviews with police.
"It is hard to remember every single detail, every interview, every time span, every this and every that," said Courtland.
Phillips was eventually found on the same day Baby Kate disappeared. Her clothes were found in his pocket, but Kate has never been found.
Courtland says she visited Phillips multiple times at the Mason County jail. Hopeful Phillips would reveal where their child is.
"He would look at me and see how much pain I am in and see how much I just want Kate," said Courtland. "I support him if he just tells me what happened."
Court was delayed by one hour this morning because a court spectator Tuesday posted a cell phone picture of the jury on a Facebook page. When media cover trial they are prohibited from taking jurors' pictures or releasing their names until a trial has ended.
Reported by Jon Mills in Ludington