A Whitehouse woman with an extensive history of documented mental disorders, arrests and abuse allegations will go on trial for capital murder on May 7. If the jury convicts Kimberly Diane Cargill, 45, of killing the mentally challenged babysitter who was set to testify against her in a child custody hearing, she could be sentenced to death.
It took four weeks for prosecutors and defense attorneys to assemble a jury for the trial, which is expected to last from four to six weeks in the Smith County 241st District Court.
He requested in the hearing to listen to testimony from Dr. Meredith Lann, who performed the autopsy on Ms. Walker, and to see if she could provide a more specific reason for the death other than homicidal violence.
Dr. Lann said she could not rule out asphyxiation as a possible cause of death for Ms. Walker.
“I don't think she did this to herself,” Dr. Lann said. She testified that she had thoroughly tested Ms. Walker's body for medications and to see if her insulin levels were normal to see if there was any other medical reason for her death, but she found none.
John Crumpton, foreman of the grand jury that indicted Ms. Cargill, also testified that the grand jury was not able to determine a specific cause of death for Ms. Walker.
Court records and psychological evaluations detail custody battles with ex-husbands, and copies of statements from her former nursing school classmates describing the difficulties Ms. Cargill, a mother of four sons, had in her interaction with other people.
A copy of a letter the defendant's mother wrote to former Smith County Judge Diane DeVasto said that although she loved her daughter very much, “Kimberly has had a long history of tumultuous relationships with her family, her spouses, neighbors, employers, landlords, co-workers and anyone else who comes into contact with her for any length of time.”
According to The Tyler Morning Telegraph archives, Ms. Cargill, in June 1988, married Michael West, of Dallas, during a ceremony in Hawaii. She had her first son in 1990. The nuptials ended just two years later, marking the start of her child-custody battles in family courts.
After the couple separated in October 1992, Ms. Cargill began a five-week day hospitalization in the Minirth-Meir Clinic in Dallas, where she underwent mental-health treatment. A month later, West was appointed primary caretaker of the couple's child, with Ms. Cargill granted visitation rights.
West, who still lives in Dallas, recently declined an interview but did point out the location of court documents regarding his past with Ms. Cargill.
Citing hospital records, clinical psychologist Sandra Craig, following a court-ordered evaluation, noted that Ms. Cargill told doctors she had “angry and explosive outbursts where she would break glass windows, doors and car windshields.”
In her 1993 report, Ms. Craig stated that Minerth-Meier evaluators diagnosed Ms. Cargill with anxiety disorder with symptoms of major depression, intermittent explosive disorder and borderline personality disorder.
Ms. Cargill's diagnosis was indicative of chronic and “severe maladjustment in interpersonal functioning,” the report noted.
In her evaluation, Ms. Craig stated that Ms. Cargill clearly loved her child and would protect him from outside dangers, but testing showed the woman's psychological problems had intensified.
She reported that the problems could be grouped into two major categories: a tendency for emotional outbursts and a narcissistic personality disorder with histrionic features.
Ms. Craig stated that Ms. Cargill easily could explode or act out her feelings, and the woman was self-absorbed and, when challenged, could become vindictive.
Ms. Craig suggested in a Collin County court in February 1993 that West be given full custody of the couple's child, and Ms. Cargill continue with her treatment.
Weeks later, the court issued an emergency restraining order against Ms. Cargill when a former friend told the judge that Ms. Cargill planned to kill West and take the child to a country with no extradition treaty with the United States.
The couple spent the next several years fighting in court over the child, and Ms. Cargill was arrested at least twice for assault and destruction of property.
Ms. Cargill kicked her son's babysitter in the stomach while dropping him off at his father's home, according to court documents.
Ms. Cargill eventually stopped visiting her oldest son, and West said his life became somewhat normal. But West would not be the only man to face Ms. Cargill's wrath when it came to children. Her second husband, Brian Cargill, said she called the police on him at least a dozen times and fought him bitterly for their son, even claiming he kidnapped the child — an accusation she would make again with the father of her third child.
The defendant married once more, to Zach Garner, with whom she had a son. And she had a son with Mathew Robinson, who she never married.