SAN DIEGO -- Tieray Jones gave emotional testimony about his day-to-day life with two-year-old stepson Jahi Turner on Thursday, on the stand in a murder trial over the toddler's disappearance 16 years ago.
Jones testified at length about his relationship with Turner, who disappeared while under his care in 2002.
Prosecutors say Jones' story, that Turner disappeared from a park when he went to get a soda nearby, doesn't add up. They accuse him of murdering the toddler and hiding his body, which was never found.
But Jones' defense argues that the stepfather was turning his life around and deeply cared about Turner.
On the stand, Jones said his stepson had a profound impact on him: "He really taught me a lot," he told the court.
After a prolonged investigation, authorities announced that there was not enough evidence to charge anyone in the toddler's disappearance in 2004. But police reopened the case and arrested Jones in North Carolina in 2016, bringing him back to San Diego for the trial.
If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.