Woman Found Potential Father Through DNA Testing (Full Episode) | Paternity Court


You may be seated. -Hello, Your Honor.
-Hello. This is a case of
Luttrell v. Leaks.
Thank you so much, Jerome.
Good day everyone. [audience] Good day. Ms. Luttrell, you filed
your case because you say after
a lifetime of confusion of not knowing who your biological
father is and receiving no help
from your mother, you are now hopeful
because you believe you have finally
found your dad. Is that correct? -Yes, Your Honor.
-Ms. Melody Luttrell, you say you are regretful that you cannot help
your daughter in her search
for her father but hope that search
ends today, -is that correct?
-Yes, Your Honor. You will present your case
to this court and we will determine if there is enough
viable evidence to grant a DNA test. [Judge Lake] So, Ms. Luttrell,
why do you need this DNA test? I’m pleading with you,
Your Honor, for this DNA test because I basically
was robbed of a relationship
with my father my whole life
for 29 years. -And…
-And, Ms. Luttrell, you believe you finally found your biological father? Yes, I believe that
I found him because I did a DNA test
through ancestry.com. [Judge Lake] And you have
never met him? No, I never met him
in person face to face. [Judge Lake] All right. Are you ready to see him
for the first time? Yes. [chuckles] I’m really excited,
I really would like to see him. Jerome, will you please
escort Mr. Leaks
into the courtroom. [Jerome] Hello, Mr. Leaks. -Can you go up there
on the left hand side there?
-Sure. Hello, Mr. Leaks. Hello, Judge. Thank you for joining us,
I saw you all connect through a gaze. -[Leaks] Yes.
-How does it feel
to finally meet and see the woman who believes
she’s your daughter? It feels great. It’s good to see her. [audience] Aw! That’s wonderful. So, can you tell me
about your childhood,
Ms. Luttrell. My childhood was pretty rough, growing up with my mom
being a single mom, she’s a very hardworking
single mom, and my whole life I always wanted to know
who my father was, so… What were you told
about your father? As a young child,
around eight years old, I was told that, um,
my father had went to the store and apparently it was
to buy cigarettes and he never came back. So that was the first story, that my mother told me and then when I was
13 years old, she told me that… Basically she didn’t really
want my father in my life and so I was really confused
and I asked her again, you know
as an adult, I figured, “Hey, she’ll probably
tell me the truth.” So, I asked her about my father
and she told me that basically, you know, “Sorry, daughter,
I just really don’t know, it was so long ago
and I can’t remember.” Ms. Luttrell,
why so many stories? I really didn’t know
but I was concerned and I tried to give her
the best answers I could. Understood, so you actually
submitted an exhibit to
the court? You say there are
three possible fathers, one of which
was a co-worker. -Yeah.
-Can you tell me about
the coworker? Yes, we, uh, dated
and we got familiar
with each other and then it
ended up in intimacy. [Judge Lake] Did you
ever tell that person
you were pregnant? I didn’t know
how to contact them and I had
moved as well. All right,
you also say that there was a classmate, can you also tell me
about your relationship with the classmate? We got to know each
other in class and then went out and it had also
ended up in intimacy. [Judge Lake] When you
found out you were pregnant, did you reach out
to that person, did you know
how to reach him? It was the same,
it was the same as the other man,
that I didn’t really know how to
contact him. You were having sex
with all these men and you didn’t even
get their phone number or know their full name
or where they’re from? [Melody Luttrell]
Well, they were like
short relationships. So I didn’t know
really were they were. Well, were they relationships you don’t know their names
or their phone numbers. What happened
with Mr. Leaks? Oh, I, um, there was a… It was a party
that had occurred in my neighborhood
and I got to know, uh, somebody I don’t know
if it was him, but somebody,
that, um, could be her father
at that party. [audience exclaiming] -Do you know this man?
-I don’t know him. I don’t know…
I don’t know him. When she brought him up,
I just said that
he looked familiar. So, Ms. Luttrell,
what did your mother tell you about Mr. Leaks? My mom told me that she was with
an African American. And so how did you connect
with him through his family? Through ancestry.com. I directly messaged a family member
who was my cousin, who said he was my cousin. And then his wife
actually was the one who made his profile. So I was talking directly
mostly with his wife. And then I also talked
to him as well, and they came to
the conclusion that
possibly Lee Leaks could be my father
in the family. Ah. And I told them that
my whole life, I’ve been looking
for my father and I found that our DNA
matched on ancestry.com, so I wanted to reach out
to them and see, possibly,
if they could help me
figure out who would be my father
in the family. You submitted that
original message
to the court. It reads… [Judge Lake reading] So, how did they connect you
to Mr. Leaks? They gave me his phone number,
as well as his name, and so I was able to
look at his Facebook and I requested him
as a friend. And I also seen pictures
of his children, and particularly
his daughter, I noticed she looked
a lot like me when
I was little. It was actually
like seeing a ghost. So, did he fit the description of someone
your mom had described? No, well, my mom,
like I said, the three stories
that I gave you was all the information
that she gave me. But when I talked to her about,
like, the age range as well, like at the time,
he would’ve been, I think 19 and she was 35, she said
it’s possible because she remembers going
to the party, like she had stated
and he was younger. Oh, she remembered
sleeping with a young guy -at this party?
-Yes. Yes, Your Honor. So, Mr. Leaks, you are 15 years younger
than Ms. Luttrell. -Mmm-hmm.
-Do you remember
this party and this one night stand? No, I’m just looking at her
right now thinking, “Okay, it’s nice
to meet you.” But, uh… -[audience laughing]
-You know, um… Very nice to meet you. And, um, no… I was not at
that party. Were you ever at a party
having sex with an older woman? No. You know, if I’m having
a child or anything like that, if I even know
there’s chance
I’ll have a child, I’m sticking around. I’m not going anywhere. -Well, Ms. Luttrell
has testified…
-[audience applauding] …that this seemed like
a one night stand and she didn’t let
anybody know. [Leaks] Nah, I don’t do that. It’s not my get down. [Judge Lake] So, Ms. Luttrell submitted a younger photo
of herself. Does that look more
familiar to you? No. So you don’t remember her
from a party? You don’t remember her? No. I will say this, if I can
just share this with you. -Yes.
-Can you hand it? [Judge Lake] What is this
evidence, sir? This is a picture of her
right next to my mom, they’re side by side
on here. [Judge Lake] Okay,
let me see that. And they look so much alike, she’s related to us
somehow, someway. [Judge Lake] So, this is
a picture of Ms. Luttrell. [Leaks] And my mom. [Judge Lake] And your mom? And you believe they
look so similar that somehow she’s related
to your family? [Leaks] Somehow. There’s too many
similarities in that… So can you take me
to the day you were first
contacted by Ms. Luttrell? We had long conversations
and it’s just her nature, for one, I can’t see myself
doing that, you know, somebody
that much older than me. You know,
15 years older than me and I was dating her
when I was 18, I would remember that. -You know, that’s…
-So, you really don’t
remember her? [Leaks] I’ve never met her
before in my life. But then… I’m here to close this up and have her feeling
more secure about her future. And she deserves
a father figure or a father, you know, to be there
for her. Whichever way it may be. [audience applauding] So, what’s even more
interesting is this court uncovered where both of you
would’ve been living during the window
of conception. And the truth is, you all
didn’t live too far away from one another
at that time. You were in Sacramento. -Mr. Leaks?
-[Leaks] Mmm-hmm. And, Ms. Luttrell,
you were as well, about 14 minutes away
from one another. So, I mean, it wouldn’t be
inconceivable to think you could’ve been
at the same party. I wasn’t at no party. -[audience laughing]
-Hey, if I was partying
that good, -that must’ve been
a good party and I mean…
-[audience laughing] -[Erica Luttrell] Your Honor.
-Yes… When I contacted
his family members, they told me that,
you know, he had pre… He had a wild history before, so maybe he was partying and that’s why
they really thought it’s a possibility that
he was my father. [Judge Lake] So when you
connected with his family, they basically said
he had some wild years and that it wasn’t
inconceivable that he could be
your biological father. Yes, Your Honor,
that’s why today I’m begging you,
I’m pleading for this DNA test because we have
a really strong
connection as well over the phone. I felt like his daughter
just talking with him, and as well as
the other similarities with me being a musician,
he told me that his mother was a singer, so… I really and truly believe
that this is a big possibility that he’s my father,
so I’m pleading you
for this DNA test, please. [Judge Lake] You know,
this case is very interesting. What strikes me is that, when you walked into
the courtroom, Mr. Leaks, you were satisfied
with the possibility that she could potentially
be your daughter which says to me
that at some point, twenty-nine, 30 years ago, you were having some sex
with somebody. [Leaks] Mmm-hmm. And there are family members
of yours saying that it is not so far-fetched
that he could be your father and then you say,
“Well, if I’m not her
biological father, somebody in my family is because she looks just like
my mother to me.” [Leaks] Yeah. -This is crazy.
-[Leaks] Exactly. [audience laughing] That’s my life. [Judge Lake] And I don’t mean
that as a legal term, that’s just “wow.” And with that said, I listened to your testimony,
Ms. Luttrell. And I do believe, that there has been
sufficient evidence presented, to warrant this court
granting the DNA testing. Yes, thank you,
Your Honor. I need this closure,
um, even just to move on, you know, emotionally,
to be healthy emotionally as well as for my son. So he knows
who his grandfather is. -Um…
-And the truth is… if you are not granted
this test, you’re going to forever
think and wonder. -Exactly.
-“Was there just
one step missed?” “Am I connected
to this family?” There are just
so many questions, and I may not be
able to answer every question, but the paternity question, this court has
the ability to answer. And we will do that
for you, it is ordered, that both of you are
to submit to DNA testing, and we will resume
this case at a later date, and I will have
those answers for you. [Erica] Thank you
so much, Your Honor.
[Leaks] Thank you. -Court is adjourned.
-[audience applauding] Since our last hearing, have you had any other thoughts, concerns? I’m just so confused
on whether he’s my father or not
but I really, hope and pray
that he is so my search is over. This is not just
a paternity question, this is a paternity mystery. This has been truly
a fascinating case. I have the results. And if you’re ready,
Ms. Luttrell, I will read them to you. -Yes, I’m ready.
-All right. Jerome, may I have
the envelope, please? [audience applauding] These results were prepared
by DNA Diagnostics and they read
as follows. In the case of
Luttrell v. Leaks,
when it comes to
29-year-old Erica Luttrell it has been determined
by this Court Mr. Leaks… You… are not the father. [audience exclaiming] I’m very sorry,
Ms. Luttrell. I’ll just, um… You know, first of all,
I wanna say I really appreciate that
Lee came today and he was here
’cause I just popped up
out of the blue in his life and we already have
a relationship as a family and we’ve created
a relationship over
eight months. So, um, definitely
wanna continue that -and, um, hopefully
we can find out together…
-[Leaks] Definitely. …who’s my father
in the family. [sighs] [audience applauding] [Erica sighs] [whispers] It’s okay. [Judge Lake] I want you
to talk to Dr. Jeff and really be honest
about your feelings, I feel like you’re
holding on to a lot, that you’re carrying
the burden of this by yourself
and you feel like you are. [Leaks] Excuse me,
no, she’s not. -I’ll be there.
-[audience applauding] And I would just
encourage you, if you’ve gotten information
back from Ancestry that there is
some relation, to this family, then this mystery, is just waiting
to be solved. I wish you all
the very best. -Court is adjourned.
-[Leaks] Thank you.

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