Child who was tossed into Cross Lake testifies during his mother’s murder trial

Ureka Black told jurors that her family is under genocide and that officials are out to get her and her family
Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 3:29 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 at 8:53 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Six-year-old Elijah Black testified in court for less than 15 minutes Tuesday (Sept. 12) as part of the trial of his mother on charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Before that, jurors watched video of him being interviewed as a 5-year-old at Gingerbread House. Prosecutors and his mother, who has chosen to represent herself, then questioned a representative of Gingerbread House.

Ureka Rochelle Black, 34, is accused of killing her 10-month-old son, Joshua, and injuring Elijah, who then was 5 years old, by tossing them into the water from the Cross Lake bridge in September 2021.

[RELATED: Ureka Black’s son’s chilling account of being ‘rolled’ into Cross Lake from bridge detailed in court records]

Before court proceedings got underway Tuesday (Sept. 12), Black asked that attorney Elizabeth Gibson be removed from the counsel table.

Black said that Gibson’s presence offends her and that “she is laughing but this is my life.” Black, who has been in Caddo Correctional for 716 days, also contended that Gibson has a bad reputation in the jail.

Black did not meet with the defense attorney prior to the trial.

Gibson was ordered to sit in the gallery or stand by if Black needs her.

Black and prosecutors then gave their opening statements.

Black, who was wearing civilian clothes and was unrestrained, told jurors that her family is under genocide and that officials are out to get her and her family. She also said she was amid a huge federal lawsuit at the time of the homicide and attempted homicide.

Evidence that jurors will see is false and has been tampered with, Black claimed.

And she said that she’s innocent and that she may or may not have had drugs or mental illness issues.

Lastly, Black alleged that 5-year-old Elijah was brainwashed and told what to say during his interview with the Gingerbread House.

After the opening statements, prosecutors called their first witnesses to the stand.

Among them were:

  • the owner of the home to which first responders were dispatched Sept. 24, 2021.
  • Shreveport police patrol Officer D. Washington, who was the first SPD officer on the scene.
  • Tyler Kolb, of SPD’s warrants unit, who searched for Black’s dark-colored Dodge Caravan the day of the homicide and attempted homicide.
  • Michael Covert, the Shreveport Fire Department engineer and paramedic who pulled the infant out of Cross Lake.
  • the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Joshua Black and ruled the cause of death as drowning and blunt force trauma to the left side of the body.

Jurors and witnesses also were presented with evidence related to Joshua and the scene that day.

Prosecutors intend to call one more witness Wednesday before Black begins questioning defense witnesses.

Black’s mother, Silvia Black, was at the courthouse Tuesday. She wanted to come into the courtroom but was not allowed inside because Black plans to use her mother as a witness.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

After Black calls her final defense witness, she and prosecutors must present their closing arguments before the case goes to the 10-woman, 3-man jury for deliberations.