(Memphis) The toll of a family tragedy is playing out in court.
Darius Lang, is hoping to get custody of the kids he and murdered Memphis Police Officer, Martoiya Lang, had together before her death.
Natalie Brooks, Darius’ sister, took the stand to testify about the relationship between her brother and his children.
“He’s a good dad. He provides for them,” said Brooks.
Brooks brought out something else, what the death of their mother and the custody fight between Dairus Lang and Martoiya’s mother is doing to the girls, particularly 12-year-old Naia.
“She won’t speak to me. She walks pass me and I say Naia, hey. She darts in the other direction and she has never been like that to me. So I don’t know why,” said Brooks.
She says young Naia has been angry through all of this.
The children are living with different family members and the strain between their dad and grandmother may very well be transferring to them.
There’s been plenty of dirty laundry aired.
Attorney’s for Martoyia Lang’s mother, Vivian Woods Taylor, brought up physical altercations between Darius Lang and his own father and 911 calls placed while the girls were in Lang’s care.
The attorney also questioned if Lang was exploiting the kids, referencing an interview he allowed them to do with News Channel 3.
Lang’s sister testified it wasn’t exploitation.
Martoiya’s mother on Monday defended claims she went to police asking for money after her daughter’s death.
“I did not ask for anything. I have not to this day asked for anything from MPD (Memphis Police Department) or MPA (Memphis Police Association) for those children,” said Vivian Woods-Taylor.
The judge also had his own questions about the living arrangements at Darius Lang’s new home that he already shares with a girlfriend and the two children they have together.
The judge wondered if there is room for the other kids.
The hearing ended early Wednesday, one of the lawyers needed to leave town.
It will resume next Tuesday, when Darius Lang could be called to testify.