The lone daughter of Stanley and Colleen Rimer testified Thursday that for the four years Jason Rimer was alive, he lived with his siblings in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
Crystal Davis testified during the second day of the trial of Stanley and Colleen Rimer, who are accused of second-degree murder, for leaving Jason in a Ford Excursion for at least 17 hours in June 2008, and six counts of child abuse and neglect, for letting their children live in squalor.
Davis, 20, said she considered the Rimers' home cluttered. She testified dirty clothes often would be left on the floor of the laundry room and bedrooms; used dishes would pile high in the sink; lice on the children were a constant problem; and tools, including a saw, were left on the floor and within reach of children.
Davis, the fourth of the Rimers' eight children together, said while she lived in the house she was mostly responsible for Jason, who suffered from myotonic dystrophy, a genetic muscular disorder that crippled his body and mind. Davis said she changed the boy's diapers and gave him baths most of the time with occasional help from her mother and another brother.
Davis said she never saw her father change Jason's diaper.
After moving out of the Rimers' home at 16, Davis would return and find Jason wearing soiled diapers and with dirty feet.
Davis also testified that Stanley Rimer would hand out corporal punishment to his children with a 4-foot long boat oar, paint stirrers and his fists. She said her father would strike the children, all boys save Davis, on their bottoms with the oar or paint stirrers or strike the boys in the chest with his fists.
After moving out of the house, Davis said she had one argument in which she warned her father if he struck her she would call the police. She was pregnant at the time.
Davis said she moved out of the house when she was 16 because she had to pay rent and, after working an eight-hour shift at Burger King, she was told to clean up the messes her brothers would leave behind. "My brothers weren't helpful," she said.
Davis said another reason she moved out was that her father wouldn't let her date who she wanted to.
She said her mother, who also suffers from myotonic dystrophy and cannot control her bladder, often would depend on her only daughter to help with Jason and maintain the house.
Davis also testified that after Jason's death her father told her not to talk to child protective services or law enforcement officers, because "they will blow things out of proportion."
Earlier Thursday, a Las Vegas police detective testified that Colleen Rimer had said she was the only person responsible for Jason.
Colleen Rimer also told the detective that when her boys told her Jason was missing and they began searching for him, one of the children said he was in a bedroom and the search ended. She told the detective the boys at the time "probably didn't want to deal with finding him."
Colleen Rimer then retired to the master bedroom with her husband, who was ill June 8, 2008.
Prosecutors have argued the parents exhibited a pattern of neglect toward their children that was bound to lead to tragedy.
Defense attorneys said the parents were fighting their own illnesses the day Jason was left in the vehicle and their boys were told to take care of Jason. Colleen Rimer later was found to have had bronchitis at the time of Jason's death.
Stanley Rimer has maintained he was not aware Jason was left in the vehicle or missing because he was in the bedroom ill.
Defense attorneys also have suggested that the boys were mostly responsible for the home's messy condition and that the house on the day Jason was discovered dead appeared cluttered because items were placed in piles to allow for a carpet cleaning.
The trial is expected to continue today with testimony from other children.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at email@example.com or 702-380-1039.