Stepmother testifies in case of girl in basement

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HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) -- A southwest Ohio woman has denied locking her 12-year-old stepdaughter in the basement for weeks but says she did discipline the child.

Media outlets report that 37-year-old Joanna Blackston testified Wednesday in Hamilton that she had slapped the girl and had whipped her because the girl yelled back at her. She said the girl was difficult and would yell and curse and break things.

Blackston and husband Shawn Blackston are on trial charged with child endangering. Forty-year-old Shawn Blackston is the girl's father.

The Blackstons were arrested in July after authorities said they found the girl in the basement, dirty and underweight.

The child testified Tuesday that she was locked in the basement, denied food and punished with cold showers.

The trial continues Thursday.