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Closing arguments expected Thursday in Madison teen torture trial


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - After hearing more than two weeks of testimony, a Madison jury could decide as early as today whether Chad Chritton is guilty of torturing his teenage daughter.

Closing arguments are expected Thursday, after the 41-year-old Chritton changed his mind about testifying Wednesday.

He told the judge that his learning disabilities would prevent him from following the lines of questioning – he proclaimed his innocence – and he said he didn’t want to jeopardize his case.

Chritton is accused of starving and torturing his daughter who’s now 16. Prosecutors said the girl was locked in a basement for years, and she weighed just 68 pounds when she escaped the house in February of last year.

The defense has claimed that the girl chose not to eat or dress appropriately, and was given those opportunities.

Chritton is charged with 6 abuse-related counts that include false imprisonment, causing mental harm, and reckless endangerment. His wife Melinda also has 6 felony charges pending, and their son is charged with molesting the girl.