UPDATE: D.A.'s Office Rests Its Case
Updated Friday, May 25, 2012 at 11:25 a.m. CDT
The Smith County District Attorney’s office rested its case this morning against Kimberly Cargill in the punishment phase of her trial. The defense will begin presenting its case on Tuesday morning on behalf of the Whitehouse woman convicted of capital murder.Updated Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10:59 a.m. CDT
Deputy Sheila Elder said dealing with Kimberly Cargill is like "being on a roller coaster - you just have to strap yourself in for the ride."
The deputy and other Smith County jailers detailed in testimony this morning how Cargill was manipulative, unpredictable, and would twist situations around so that she would benefit.
By DAYNA WORCHEL
A Whitehouse woman who was convicted of capital murder last week has cursed at Smith County jailers, thrown food and threatened to file charges against them for various reasons.
Several jailers testified that since Kimberly Cargill, 45, was incarcerated in June 2010, that she has thrown food at them and refused to eat because different foods on her plate were touching.
"I knew the way she carried herself that she would be trouble," Susana Aguilar said in the fourth day of testimony in the punishment phase of Ms. Cargill's trial. She was speaking about the first time the defendant walked into the Smith County jail after she was arrested.
Ms. Aguilar said the defendant had a look of "waiting for something to happen so she could feed off of it."
A Smith County jury in the 241st District Court convicted Ms. Cargill on May 18 of the murder of Cherry Walker, her mentally challenged babysitter. Ms. Walker had been subpoenaed to testify against Ms. Cargill in a child custody hearing that was scheduled for June 23, 2010.
The defendant, who took the stand in her own defense, said that she panicked after the victim had a seizure and dumped the body on County Road 2191. She set that she set the fire to destroy DNA evidence.
Deputy Sonny Monk testified that on Sept. 4, 2010, Ms. Cargill screamed at her for turning on a light in her cell. Deputy Monk said on the witness stand that it was usual protocol for jailers to check on inmates during the course of the evening to make sure they were safe.
Ms. Cargill then cursed at the deputy. Defense attorney Jeff Haas asked Deputy Monk whether his client had apologized to her. The deputy replied that she had.
Two officials with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice testified that if the jury were to sentence Ms. Cargill to live in prison without possibility of parole that she would be in the general prison population in the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville.
Warden Octavious Black said Ms. Cargill would be allowed to attend college, walk freely within the dormitory and other prison areas and work if she wished. The inmate or her family pays for college, Ms. Black testified. The defendant also would be allowed visitation and to have physical contact, such as hand holding with the visitor, Ms. Black said.
The third husband of Kimberly Cargill also took the witness stand 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. Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said the witness did not want his name used.
The witness separated 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 to defend himself. Ms. Cargill went to a Tyler hospital and said 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, who refused to leave.
The man said when he called his parents to come over, the defendant left, and then he left to spend the night at his parent's 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 more than $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 field, he also has tried to have his record cleared of the charges, he said.
Haas asked the man whether he drank and was intoxicated around Ms. Cargill. He said he had done so, and that he attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
The man's elderly parents also testified, saying that had to go back to work and take out a second mortgage on their home to help their son with his legal bills.
Prosecutors will continue to call witnesses today.