Mother, grandfather of slain boys testifies during trial

Mother, grandfather of slain boys testifies during trial

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Home video of Alec and Asher Home video of Alec and Asher
PHOENIX -

Should Andre Leteve be sentenced to death for killing his two young sons? That's the decision a jury will have to make.

Monday, for the first time, jurors heard from the boy's mother and grandparents. They showed the jury pictures of the boys and talked about how they miss them.

They said the boys were killed by the one person who was supposed to protect them -- their own father.

"A day doesn't go by that I don't see a little child and feel tears well up in my eyes thinking of Alec and Asher. I've taught myself to smile and I have to smile to cover up the sadness that I feel remembering the boys," said Jason Zellner, the boys' grandfather.

Jason Zellner told the jury his life changed forever when his grandsons Alec and Asher were killed. He shared memories of the boys, describing Alec's bright red hair and his love of Thomas the train and chocolate croissants. He also loved his baby brother, Asher.

"We will spend the rest of our lives wondering if there was some clue, some sign we could have picked up to avoid this horrible crime. We will gladly have laid down our lives to change the past but the past is gone and the present is now," said Zellner.

Laurie Morales, the boys' mother, also read a statement to the jury. She shared pictures and video of the boys. One of those videos was taken the day before they died.

As she read her statement, she turned around at Leteve, who is now her ex-husband.

"Alec loved orange, he loved fishing with you on your boat. He loved you. He loved you," said Morales.

"The only thing I cared about was my kids and I would have gladly given my life if I was given the option. If I was given the opportunity I would have gladly traded mine to save my kids."

Morales says Asher loved playing and chasing after his brother Alec. Leteve covered Asher with blankets and shot him in his crib. Alec was shot on the couch.

"Children are to be protected and they unconditionally give us their trust, and my children were not protected, they were harmed," Morales said.

This week, defense attorneys will call their own witnesses to testify. They'll give reasons why Leteve's life should be spared.

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