In the hours after her mentally challenged babysitter went missing, evidence shows Kimberly Diane Cargill tried to get her former husband and friends to testify for her in a child custody hearing.
The Smith County District Attorney's Office is seeking the death penalty. Both prosecution and defense attorneys argued outside the presence of the jury later on Monday afternoon about the relevance of some text messages which a Smith County detective found on the defendant's phone.
Prosecutors said the texts were relevant because they occurred between June 17 and June 21, 2010, and some had occurred on the day of the offense, June 18, 2010. Bingham told Judge Jack Skeen Jr. that the Ms. Cargill was calling friends wishing them a “Happy Father's Day,” while Ms. Walker's father was calling the Smith County Sheriff's Office to ask about his missing daughter.
Prosecutors agreed after hearing the concerns of the defense not to introduce into evidence any texts dealing with any other offenses Ms. Cargill had committed.
Bingham said to the jury that a straw and an empty coffee cream container from a fast food restaurant, which was found near Ms. Walker's body, contained DNA material which could not exclude Ms. Cargill as being the contributor after the DNA was tested.
Smith County Sheriff's Detective Justin Hall testified that the he searched Ms. Cargill's home and found the same coffee creamer containers in the bedroom.
Another witness called by the prosecution, Jennifer Dalmida, of Verizon Wireless, testified about the phone records showing numerous calls and texts between phone numbers belonging to Ms. Cargill, Ms. Walker, and a nursing supervisor for a temp agency for which Ms. Cargill had worked for the day before.
The supervisor had left numerous phone messages for Ms. Cargill, asking her if she had given patients at East Texas Medical Center their medications. “After 8 p.m. on June 18, 2010, all of the calls placed to Kimberly Cargill's phone went directly to voice mail,” Bingham said to the jury.
A now-retired psychologist, Richard Wilson, testified that he had evaluated Ms. Walker, whom he said met the definition of being mentally challenged, to see if she was eligible to receive social services. Wilson said that Ms. Walker had the daily living skills of a 9-year-old.
Wilson testified that when Ms. Walker was 26, she had some major motor seizures and was on medication for it, in response to questioning from defense attorney Brett Harrison.
Bingham told the jury during opening arguments about the findings of the coroner who performed the autopsy on Ms. Walker, saying that her death had been caused by “homicidal violence.” He told the jury that the evidence would show that Ms. Walker's death could have been caused by suffocation and that her body had been dumped on a county road miles from where the victim lived in Tyler.
Bingham also said that a hair found on the headrest in Ms. Cargill's car had a 1 in 96 chance of belonging to an African American, which includes Ms. Walker.
Bingham presented a timeline of events for June 18, 2010, the day Ms. Walker called Ms. Cargill to tell her she had received a subpoena to testify. “Cherry Walker is dead from that moment on,” Bingham said. Phone records showed numerous calls Ms. Cargill placed to the victim, asking her to clean her house and telling her she would take her out to eat. After June 18, phone records do not show many more phone calls from Ms. Cargill to Ms. Walker.
The defense elected not to make an opening statement.