UPDATE: Child abuse suspect will not testify in trial - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Child abuse suspect will not testify in trial

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MADISON (WKOW) -- At the last minute, the man accused of severely neglecting his teenage daughter decided not to testify in his own defense, despite saying he would earlier.

Chad Chritton, 41, initially faced seven charges of child abuse, including false imprisonment and neglect. He's accused of keeping his 15-year-old daughter in the basement with no food or a bathroom. One of those charges has been dropped.

After the defense finished calling its witnesses Wednesday afternoon, Judge Julie Genovese asked Chad Chritton if he was planning to testify. Chritton initially answered that he would, but after his attorney William Hayes expressed concerns over whether Chritton fully understood what he could face on the stand, Chritton changed his mind.

With my comprehension and learning disabilities, I'm getting lost. If I were to testify I don't think people would understand my answers," Chritton told the court. "I want people to know I'm innocent but I don't have the confidence that I can confidently answer questions without getting confused."

After the defense rested its case, the prosecution called up one, quick rebuttal witness who ended testimony in this trial.

Earlier, Judge Julie Genovese ruled to throw out one of the charges against Chritton-- count five, failure to act in the sexual assault of child. On Tuesday, Genovese questioned whether enough evidence had been brought up throughout the past 11 days of testimony to support the charge, which refers to an incident where the alleged victim in this case, known as SLC, accused her step brother Joshua Drabek of sexually assaulting her. Witness testimony showed the girl later said she had lied about the assault. The judge said when SLC testified on Friday, she didn't make it clear what exactly happened in her interaction with Drabek.

Chritton still faces six other child abuse charges in this trial.

Thursday morning will begin with opening statements and then the case will go to the jury to determine a verdict. Stay with 27 News and wkow.com for the latest on this trial.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County judge has thrown out one charge against the Madison man accused of starving and neglecting his teenage daughter.

Chad Chritton, 41, faces seven charges of child abuse, including false imprisonment and neglect. He's accused of keeping his 15-year-old daughter in the basement with no food or a bathroom. Judge Julie Genovese ruled Wednesday afternoon to throw out count five, failure to act in the sexual assault of child.

On Tuesday, Genovese questioned whether enough evidence had been brought up throughout the past 11 days of testimony to support the charge, which refers to an incident where the alleged victim in this case, known as SLC, accused her step brother Joshua Drabek of sexually assaulting her. Witness testimony showed the girl later said she had lied about the assault. The judge said when SLC testified on Friday, she didn't make it clear what exactly happened in her interaction with Drabek.

Defense attorney William Hayes continues calling witnesses Wednesday, and Chritton himself is expected to testify in his own defense. Genovese told the jury Wednesday morning the case is expected to wrap up by Friday, one week longer than anticipated.

Jennifer Kliese has been following this trial and will have a recap of today's testimony tonight on 27 News at 5 and 6.

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