Trial of locking up special needs sister continues in Corunna

Published: Sep. 22, 2017 at 6:22 PM EDT
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(9/22/17) - The Shiawassee County woman accused of keeping her special needs sister locked in closet for years took the stand in her trial today. Police officers say when they found Candy Lawson's sister she was malnourished and weighed just 71 pounds

On the witness stand Lawson denied that her sister Dianna was mistreated. She claims investigators didn't understand the situation or that their testimony wasn't true.

Lawson testified that her sister was part of a loving home, that she was well-fed and kept clean. But she couldn't explain why Dianna's Social Security Disability Insurance money was used up every month.

Lawson said she did have to lock Dianna's room at night because she would tend to wander away. When police found Dianna on July 9, 2015, she was in a room that was 7 feet by 8 feet.

Lawson couldn't explain how a 5-gallon bucket half full of human waste ended up in the room. She says that was the first night Dianna was in such a small room, that there was remodeling going on in the house in Corunna and the room was just a temporary arrangement.

"We had suspected she had been getting in and out. She had taken different things from my house, not just that bucket. That wall wasn't even nailed up. You could push on it and it would fall over. It was just wedged to the ceiling. that's it," Lawson said.

Lawson has been charged with abuse, false imprisonment and embezzlement. Closing arguments are expected Monday and jury deliberations will start after that.