KALAMAZOO--It’s been a week since the Springer murder trial has gone underway in Kalamazoo. Day one heard testimony from various investigators and forensic specialists breaking down every detail from the fire that took the life of Calista Springer, including autopsy photos that showed the thin, soot covered body of the 16-year-old.
The following days the prosecution called forward dozens of witnesses to establish the Springer family dynamic, with step-mother Marsha apparently being left to do most of the child rearing. Teachers, para-pros, and other school officials stating that although mild behavioral problems like petty theft and lying followed Calista, effort toward her school work was never an issue as she often sought and enjoyed praised and her grades stayed consistent or increased over each semester.
Diane Kamphues, a counselor at Centreville Elementary School, said Calista would often willingly give any items she took back after being confronted.
“I felt that Calista she wanted desperately to have friends,” said Kamphues. “And some of the things she took she took because she didn’t have them.”
And it seems by the end of her sixth grade year, Calista didn’t want to live anymore-- stating in a journal she wrote to her 6th grade teacher, Peggy Roach.
“I have problems with my family and I miss my school,” Calista wrote. “I am tired of my family and I feel like doing these things; run away, kill myself. I want to get out of this prison at home. I want to be free as possible as any other teenager.”
The week concluded with testimony from eight of Calista’s closest friends, nearly all of whom claim Calista had told them she was being chained to her bed and was grossly unhappy at home, often not wanting go, and was visibly treated differently than her younger sisters, Courtney and Heather—and that was all before Calista was pulled out of school back in 2005.
The trial has a long way to go as the prosecution has yet to call half of his 60 person witness list but what has been established is that it is apparent that home was not a happy place for Calista and issues like hunger and cleanliness plagued her during her growing years. Trial resumes Tuesday morning at 9:00.