'Dr. Phil' videos will be evidence in 'hot sauce mom' trial

The Anchorage Daily NewsAugust 18, 2011 

An Anchorage jury heard opening statements Wednesday in the trial of Jessica Beagley, an Anchorage mother accused of abusing her adopted Russian son by putting hot sauce in his mouth and forcing him into a cold shower as punishment for bad behavior.

Beagley, 36, faces one misdemeanor count of child abuse.

Municipal prosecutor Cynthia Franklin told the jurors that the abuse case centered around videos Beagley sent to the "Dr. Phil" show.

Beagley wrote in April 2009 to the show -- which features licensed therapist Phil McGraw doling out advice on national television -- after she saw a Dr. Phil segment called "Angry Moms." Beagley was having trouble dealing with behavioral problems with one of the two twin boys she and her husband, an Anchorage police officer, had adopted from Russia.

Producers from the show did not write back until October 2010, when they asked Beagley if she was still having trouble. They were preparing for a segment called "Mommy Confessions," the prosecutor said.

"(Beagley) said she was still angry," Franklin told the jurors.

The producers asked for video footage of Beagley's disciplinary methods. "That led to the making of this videotape," Franklin said.

Detectives would later apply for a search warrant and seize a camera and computer from the Beagley residence, Franklin said.

"You will see some of the videos Jessica Beagley made, including the one that was clipped up, put on 'Dr. Phil' and prompted the calls to (Anchorage police)," Franklin told the jury.

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