Please be seated.
Hello, your honor.
This is the case of Brugger v. Warner.
Thank you Jerome. Good day everyone.
AUDIENCE: Good day.
Ms. Brugger, you are here to prove to the defendant that your son,
Parrish Brooks Jr. was fathered by the defendant's grandson
who was tragically killed two months ago
in an auto accident.
Ms. Warner, you are here with your granddaughter
and you don't believe Parrish Jr.
is your great grandson.
No, your honor.
JUDGE LAKE: You say that the plaintiff has dragged you to court today
because she wants in on your family's land and oil trust.
Yes, your honor.
All right, you claim your granddaughter knows for a fact
your grandson was sterile.
Yes, your honor.
What do you believe Ms. Brugger's motives actually are?
WARNER: Right after Parrish got killed, she went for social security,
Parrish, I know Parrish had told, told her about the land we have in Texas
WARNER: You know, she was just trying to cash in on him.
And she wanted a father for her girls.
JUDGE LAKE: Ms. Brugger,
you say he is in fact your child's father?
Yes, he is my son's father.
We lived together,
everything, we were in a relationship, he asked me to marry him.
That is my son's father.
BRUGGER: He never denied my son.
So, I don't see why they are.
And the fact that they are saying he was sterile,
he was never told by a doctor.
That was him because he never had a child.
Me and Parrish clearly had a conversation before he passed
that he wasn't sure.
And so when you say, "he wasn't sure..."
What did he say?
Because he was just like...
"Chas, I don't even think I can have kids."
All he wanted his whole life was a baby.
And then he gets with Rochell,
and then she comes pregnant like,
a month or two later.
He didn't even think he could have kids.
Excuse me, I have to say something. They weren't together when Parrish
He had another girlfriend they were not together.
We weren't together when he died, no.
WARNER: I had to tell you.
No, you guys wasn't together.
That's what she said, ma'am.
We lived together. We were a family.
He told everyone
my girls were his stepdaughters.
He called them his stepdaughters...
Everything. He was there through my whole pregnancy.
All the doctor's appointments.
JUDGE LAKE: And when you had the baby,
was he at the hospital?
No, he couldn't be there. But, as soon as he got out
he was adamant about...
Having the hospital hold on to the birth certificate
before they turned it in,
so that he could sign it.
So, do have proof of that?
BRUGGER: When we came home...
JUDGE LAKE: Ms. Brugger, explain to me.
This is actually a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity
that Parrish Sr. signed?
BRUGGER: Yes, your honor.
JUDGE LAKE: He acknowledged paternity?
"I am the legal father."
You have this is writing, this is his signature?
Yes, your honor.
While you were in this relationship he's going to doctor's appointments with you
and he is excited about the baby
and calling your girls his stepchildren.
Is he expressing any of this excitement
Ms. Warner, Ms. Veasley, to you that, "I'm having a child,
"I believe it's mine?"
Yes, your honor.
JUDGE LAKE: But, you just don't believe it is?
Yes, your honor.
You had a shower?
BRUGGER: I had a baby shower, yes.
JUDGE LAKE: Did you attend, Ms. Warner?
Ms. Veasley, were you a part of that?
No, I, I didn't do anything.
I was, your honor.
JUDGE LAKE: You did?
WARNER: I did go because of Parrish, Parrish was alive then.
That was his baby.
But, to me,
that's not his child.
He loved the baby, your honor, but the baby don't even look like him.
He don't act like him. His forehead's not like...
There is nothing about him
that tell me that that is my grandson.
WARNER: The baby...
My son looks...
WARNER: No, no, he doesn't.
Around his eyes he looks...
Just like... He looks just like his grandpa.
WARNER: No, that's...
No, that's not his grandpa. His Grandpa never did nothin' for Parrish!
I don't know what... No...
BRUGGER: That's what y'all say.
BRUGGER: Since my son has been born...
WARNER: I raised Parrish.
Since my son has been born, the whole time
I was with Parrish in a relationship,
he's been the one that has been around.
I invited them to my son's
first birthday party,
they didn't show up.
WARNER: That's not my son, that's why I didn't show up.
And if y'all felt this way about my son then why did y'all...
Because I loved Parrish so much. I loved Parrish so much.
When his father was alive, there was never a question.
WARNER: Parrish is no longer here. He's no longer here, now.
But, if y'all felt that this was not his son...
I can defend that now.
Why wouldn't you say so...
When he was alive or when my son was born?
'Cause I wasn't going to hurt Parrish.
Parrish wanted the baby so bad...
They have never been around much.
So, wait, what I am trying to understand from the situation, Ms. Warner,
is all this time even when the baby was there,
did you have doubts about the paternity?
Yes your honor.
But, I wasn't going to say anything...
With, uh, Parrish
JUDGE LAKE: You just didn't want to upset Parrish...
I did not want to come between Parrish and that baby.
But, now Parrish is no longer, I can say my piece now.
And the real truth is
you were his grandmother, but you raised him.
He was really like a son to you.
WARNER: Your honor, his mother died in '85,
I am the only person was there for Parrish.
That's why I just...
Couldn't hurt him because of this baby.
He didn't, he didn't have a family.
His dad over there did never...
That never did come by...
Oh, yeah, you were...
Come on, I would never...
Come on, now...
It seemed like never.
It seemed like never.
You know what...
All right let's get, let's get some order. Let's get some order.
In your court papers, Ms. Brugger,
that his family didn't even tell you
when he passed away.
Is that true?
I got a phone call from one of my friends.
They had seen it on Facebook.
They had just found out that morning too.
But, you would think...
WARNER: I'm grieving, that was my son...
I didn't have time to call nobody.
Had seen it on Facebook.
VEASLEY: You have to understand where she is coming from.
They didn't even call his father and let his own father know.
WARNER: They, they found it out... Excuse me, your honor.
They found out on Facebook.
Someone else caught the coroner's office,
they released all of his information.
So, when I'm looking at Facebook at like 5:00 in the morning
going to work, I see it.
I call my grandmother. "Grandma, have you heard anything about Parrish?"
I had just talked to Parrish
the Friday that he...
Died at like 10:00 in the morning.
WARNER: They weren't in a relationship at that time.
They weren't together.
I still have his son!
WARNER: But you guys...
BRUGGER: We don't have to be together.
I was grieving at the time.
BRUGGER: For me to know, I am still stuck,
happening to raise our son
Well, ask him, he'll tell...
So, if you really cared about your grandson
and you know he said this was his son
and he loved him very, very much.
And that's why she is here today.
Wouldn't you want his son to know that he no longer has a father?
WARNER: That's why I am here.
VEASLEY: Parrish felt that she used to have some dude come over to the house.
Whose hair she was always doing.
BRUGGER: Your honor...
Never got paid. Parrish didn't like that.
Because he had called my grandmother and clearly stated to her.
He has telling me plenty of times that Rochell was broken
that she was tainted,
and that's why he had to get out of the situation.
So, when you would talk to
Parrish, Ms. Warner, he was saying he wanted to get out of the situation?
WARNER: He was saying, "She is broken grandma, I cannot fix her."
He says, "She is crazy, grandma. She is..."
This guy keeps coming over and doing her hair and he...
He's not even, she's not even getting paid for doing his hair!
So, man would just come over to the house and get his hair done?
Right and she wouldn't even get any... She wouldn't even accept any money.
This is what he told me out of his mouth, your honor. This is just...
Couple of things.
JUDGE LAKE: So, he was intimating that
he maybe thought she was cheating
with this guy?
Yeah! He'd come home and the guy was there.
Who is this guy?
Ms. Brugger, you just had a guy over the house, doing his hair?
Your honor, first of all I have a degree in cosmetology.
So, I do hair.
When me and Parrish first got together,
there is a guy who I have known for years.
He is my brother's friend.
I've been doing his hair for years.
It happened one time I was doing his hair,
Parrish came home,
he got mad about it.
I never had... I stopped doing his hair.
He never came back over again to get his hair done.
And then, your honor, there was also times when Parrish would call my grandmother
that Rochell wasn't picking him up from work.
He was late to picking her up.
And she couldn't explain to him on why
all that was happening.
There was times when she kicked Parrish out.
He came to my grandmother's house.
She had to give him money to stay at a hotel room.
Your honor, the only time he was staying at a hotel
was after he was gone out of my house.
The girlfriend he had after me,
they lived in a hotel.
When he was living with me,
we lived together we had a house.
WARNER: Your honor, but she put him out.
BRUGGER: I put him out because he was not making the right choices.
So, I had to make a choice
to protect my children
and put them first.
BRUGGER: And if you are grown...
You need to be a man and do what you need to do.
And he wasn't doing that.
So, I had to make that choice.
I put him out.
We still were talking.
But, he knew, in order for him to come back home...
You wouldn't even let him bring him over to my house, Rochell...
BRUGGER: Uh, why?
I don't know why.
You watched my son one time.
We trusted you with my son.
When he was like two to three months.
She did not feed my son, all night.
That's not his child.
We trusted you with my son when he was two to three months.
She did not feed my son, all night.
WARNER: No, no, it didn't go like that...
Don't say that.
She brought him home...
In a car seat without him being strapped in...
You are... No.
BRUGGER: The seat belt was over the car seat...
BRUGGER: And the car seat was turned backwards.
Parrish was even mad. He said...
I have to tell you that...
He will never let her keep our son.
Until he was old enough.
I'll tell you happened.
How can he pick up the phone on his own?
What happened now?
My grandmother was under the impression that
baby Parrish was on breast milk.
I'm a great grandmother.
I'm not, you know... So, I didn't know
this up-to-date stuff.
And they bought him about, told me to feed him
and I left... He wouldn't take the bottle. I left it out.
I tried to call them all night long. I was paging them.
Nobody would answer the phone.
She didn't call my phone, she called his.
And I took him over to the house. They didn't want to come to the door.
You know, I was panicking I wasn't used to keeping little babies.
That was it.
And when you were trying to give him...
The milk, he didn't want to take it?
And you thought it was because he wanted his mother...
WARNER: Yes, your honor.
So, you... Okay.
Okay, I have a question to Rochell.
If it comes back and that is his
are... Is my grandma even going to be able to see the baby?
You cannot take him...
'Cause you are acting all funny.
You act so funny.
BRUGGER: I'm so funny? But, but, why weren't y'all at the baby shower?
VEASLEY: I wasn't there because my one-year old was sick.
I invited you to his birthday.
And I talked to you. What did I tell you?
BRUGGER: You didn't show up.
And what did I tell you?
That I don't invite you guys.
Did you guys ever come over to my house to see him?
You came a couple times, you never did.
No, I didn't.
I just have my own kids, let's just be real about it.
VEASLEY: So, no, I didn't come.
I have mine. I have my own kids...
I'm answering for my grandma.
My grandma cares about him.
Parrish cared about him, I'm asking for him.
She has came to my house.
To see my son.
Like maybe three times, four.
Every time they have seen my son,
me and Parrish
packed all the kids up and we had to go to their house.
After my son was born,
my family was at the house all the time,
coming to see the baby to a point, where we were like, "Oh, my God."
"Go, home so we can get some rest."
He was mad because
they were not embracing the fact that he finally did have a kid.
And I can see that it hurts you
because you remember that it hurt him.
He was like, "You know, I thought I couldn't have kids for all these years."
"Now, I have this son and they are not embracing it."
However they feel about me,
feel how you feel about me.
But, them trying to keep the ashes away from my son,
if my son is entitled, to...
I don't even have the ashes.
Anything that he should be entitled to...
They are not...
We they keep this stuff it's not hurting me.
Ms. Brugger, they were clear, they think you are just interested in the money.
BRUGGER: The money doesn't come to me.
The money will go in an account, in a trust fund for my son.
It doesn't come to me.
Okay, I would like to hear from you witness at this time.
Sir, would you please stand up at the podium?
MAN: Yes, ma'am.
JUDGE LAKE: State your name for the court.
My name is Clabrine Harvey Jr.
And Mr. Harvey, you are...
Parrish's father and Parrish Jr.'s grandfather.
And what would you like to add to this situation?
HARVEY: All I want to say first of all,
is that we are not here to assassinate each other's character.
And I will admit that I was not there...
As much as I could have been for Parrish.
You know... But,
they didn't say nothing about the part
where I tried to get custody of my son Parrish when he was a baby
when his mama was out on the streets doing things
that she wasn't supposed to doing.
WARNER: Okay, don't even go there.
I don't have my daughter and now I don't have my son.
I tried to get custody.
Don't go there.
Oh, you know I loved you daughter don't give me that fake crocodile tears.
Don't go there.
HARVEY: Your fake crocodile...
Family, I need you to bring it down. I know this is an emotional time.
I know it.
JUDGE LAKE: I would like for you, Mr. Harvey,
to testify as to why you are so certain
that Parrish Jr. is in fact your son's son?
He was proud of his son, he told me that was his son.
The boy has got a little bit of me, ain't he? He looks like me...
VEASLEY: Your honor, we just wanna make sure that little Parrish is Parrish's.
And to be clear, your doubt is rooted in him possibly being sterile?
VEASLEY: And just that he looks nothing like him, like...
And the lack of family resemblance.
Yeah, and I always used to joke with Parrish, like,
"No, he is too cute to be your baby."
Like, me and him always joked around like that.
You, know, I still love my son even though he's not here.
I love him to death.
We shouldn't have even been here.
That's his son.
He would not have wanted this.
That's why she said nothing while he was alive because
he told everyone, this is his son.
If it wasn't for him, my son would not have been named Parrish.
He adamant about him being named Parrish Jr.
WARNER: He should be.
So, if he didn't deny him,
there's no reason for you guys to.
You guys have no legitimate reason.
Then it just goes to...
That you low-key manipulated him with the baby.
He is a grown man.
There is no way I can manipulate.
The only way to move forward is to get the results.
Jerome, may I have the envelope please?
Before I read the result, I just want to be clear that in order to determine
if Parrish Brooks Jr.
is the child of Parrish Brooks Sr., the deceased,
we performed a grand-parentage DNA test.
We fortunately had Clabrine Harvey's DNA.
The results will determine if there is a viable relationship between the child
Parrish Brooks Jr.,
and the grandfather,
Are we clear about that?
In the Case of Brugger v. Warner,
when it comes to one-year old Parrish Brooks Jr.,
it has been determined by this court
is related to Parrish Brooks Jr.
Therefore Parrish Brooks Sr. is also related
to Parrish Brooks Jr.
WARNER: Okay, I owe you an apology.
HARVEY: Something we already knew.
WARNER: I owe you an apology.
Something we already knew.
Well, now, I am sure.
You had no reason to be unsure.
And for this child's sake, let's start new.
The truth is always a great starting point.
And even though you knew it,
And even though you felt like you knew it, Mr. Harvey, without a doubt,
the point is they didn't have that clarity.
And you can blame them for it for the rest of the child's life,
and affect the child's life, or you can forgive them and move on from it,
so that you both can positively affect the child's life, you get it?
If you need
help, resources, counseling we are going to provide that for you.
Because Parrish Jr. is what's most important.
He is beautiful little boy.
Okay, I wish you the best of luck, family. The court is adjourned.