Updated Thursday, May 24, 2012 at 4:03 p.m. CDT
"What happens if someone grabs somebody's face and says, 'I'm talking to you?'" District Attorney Matt Bingham asked, in an apparent reference to behavior that was attributed to Cargill in earlier testimony.
"It's against the rules to touch another offender, and it might start a fight," Ms. Black said.
She added that some of the female inmates are as big and strong as the men.
The third husband of Kimberly Cargill took the witness stand this morning in the 241st District Court to talk about his life with the convicted murderer.
The man, who is the father of her fourth son, said they were married in 2005 after he learned she was pregnant. Ms. Cargill had told him that she could not get pregnant, he testified. Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said the witness did not want his name used.
The witness separated from and divorced Ms. Cargill after she hit his young son from a first marriage across the face and knocked him across the room. The former husband testified that the defendant became upset after some potato chips had been opened and eaten in the home the two shared.
The former husband testified that he pushed the defendant back and into a wall in order to defend himself. Ms. Cargill went to a Tyler hospital and said that the witness had hit her in the jaw.
Before the man and Ms. Cargill were married, he tried to break off the relationship, but the defendant would not cooperate. He returned from work one evening to his Tyler apartment and found Ms. Cargill there, and she refused to leave, he testified.
The man said when he called his parents to come over, the defendant left, and then he left to spend the night at his parents' home. The next morning, his apartment had burned down. Authorities said the fire had started on his mattress. The witness said he confronted Ms. Cargill, but she denied any involvement.
The witness testified that his family had spent over $27,000 to defend himself from two misdemeanor charges and one felony charge. The man testified that his elderly parents, who had retired, have each gone back to work and have taken a second mortgage on their home to help their son pay his legal bills.
Because the man is attending school to work in a health care related field, he also has tried to have his record cleared of the charges, he said.
A Whitehouse woman convicted of capital murder last week in a Smith County courtroom became angry at her son's fourth-grade teacher two years ago and grabbed the teacher's face, after the educator reached around her to hug another parent.
The testimony came on the third day of the punishment phase in the capital murder trial of Kimberly Cargill, 45, who could receive the death penalty.
Ms. Cargill took the stand in her own defense during the guilt/innocence phase of her trial, saying her mentally challenged babysitter Cherry Walker had a seizure while riding in Ms. Cargill's car on June 18, 2010.
Ms. Cargill testified that she panicked, and after trying to revive Ms. Walker, she dumped her body on County Road 2191and set the body on fire to destroy evidence. Ms. Walker had been subpoenaed to testify against Ms. Cargill in a child custody hearing, set for June 23, 2010.
“I told her (Ms. Cargill) 'I apologize for that,'” Ms. Alexander testified. The teacher said she then turned her attention to Ms. Cargill's fourth-grader and began to talk to him. Ms. Alexander said as soon as she did that, Ms. Cargill grabbed her chin and pulled the teacher's face back to her.
“I'm not finished talking to you,” the defendant said. Ms. Alexander said she maintained eye contact with the defendant the whole time, and that it was important to her to remain professional.
The teacher said that Ms. Cargill's son was very “stressed, timid and reserved” while in her class, but that he made straight A's.
“He wasn't a toucher (before he was removed from his mother's home). When he was removed from Ms. Cargill's home, he was happy, cheerful and easygoing,” Ms. Alexander said. She added that the boy would come and sit with her and the other teachers and visit during recess after he was removed from his mother's home, but would never do this before that time.
Defense attorney Brett Harrison asked Ms. Alexander if the boy had friends during the time he lived with his mother. The teacher responded that he did.
The 12-year-old boy, who went to live with his father in March 2010, testified Wednesday that his mother tried to choke him on several occasions, and had once placed both of her thumbs on his Adam's apple to try to stop him from breathing. The experience felt like a blood pressure cuff on his neck, he testified.
“She can be nice, but she can snap just like that,” the boy said. He added that he no longer refers to Ms. Cargill as “mom,” but instead calls her by her initials “K.C.”
The man said he decided to keep the boy after he picked him up for a weekend visit in 2010 and saw the child had a large bruise and knot on his forehead and a bruise with the imprint of an air conditioning vent on his back.
“Miss Cherry was an angel sent from God who protected all of those boys,” he said as Ms. Walker's family cried inside the courtroom.
Ms. Cargill's now 17-year-old son also continued his testimony from Tuesday, saying he lived with the defendant and then went to live with his father, Brian Cargill. He said he had returned to Ms. Cargill's home for visits after he lived with his father, and that the violence was “not as great” at that time.
Defense attorney Jeff Haas showed the jury photos of the now 17-year-old son with Ms. Cargill and his two younger brothers at Christmas and after a soccer game. “There were good and bad times when you lived with your mother and two younger brothers?” Haas asked the boy. He replied that there were.
The boy testified that he had gone to live with his father when he was in the sixth grade.
More testimony is expected today in the punishment phase.