BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Two half-brothers of Luke Wright testified at his rape and incest trial on Wednesday, detailing what life was like growing up in the so-called "house of horrors" where they lived in North Collins with their mother Eva Cummings and sister Laura Cummings.
Eva, 51, is serving 52-years-to-life behind bars for the torture and murder of her daughter, 23-year-old Laura.
Wright, 32, is facing charges of rape, sodomy and incest, accused of sexually assaulting his sister and burning her face with boiling water.
Richard Cummings, 24, testified that when he was 15 or 16-years-old he witnessed Wright having sex with Laura.
"Luke asked Laura to go into his room," Richard said. "Luke was naked on the bed with Laura."
Richard, who years later said he tried unsuccessfully to remove Laura from the Sherman Ave. home after their mother evicted him, also told jurors about beatings he witnessed his sister endure.
"Luke hit Laura a few times if she didn't fold the laundry correctly," he said. "Or if he asked for a glass of water and she got it too slow."
Under questioning by prosecutor Kristen St. Mary, Richard said Laura was forced to perform household chores like dishes, mopping and folding laundry even though she could barely care for herself.
Wright's defense attorney John Nuchereno said the Richard's testimony further details the conditions that all of the children were forced to live in, including Wright, who Nuchereno said is not responsible for his actions due to his low mental capacity.
"He only touched his sister when he was directed to," by Eva Cummings, Nuchereno said.
Another of Laura's brothers, Edward Overmeyer, testified that Eva Cummings would have sex on the couch with different men three to four times a week in front of the children.
"The conditions in that home were intolerable," Nuchereno added.
Overmeyer, 27, said he had "consensual sex" with Laura on at least one occasion and beat her at the request of his mother's cousin.
He also said he witnessed David Cummings, Laura's father, beat Luke Wright with a baseball bat.
"Sometimes, the result of suffering from a mental disease or defect a person can lack certain things," Nuchereno told the jury during opening statements on Tuesday.
"They lack substantial capacity to either know or appreciate the nature or consequences of their act or what you're doing is wrong," he said.
Prosecutors said Wright was aware that what he was doing was wrong, accusing him of throwing boiling water in Laura's face hours before she died.
Testimony in the case continues on Thursday morning before Erie County Court Judge Michael D'Amico.