VERDICT IN: Cargill found guilty

Published: May. 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM CDT
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The jury has found Kimberly Cargill guilty of capital murder in the death of her son's mentally-challenged babysitter.

Sentencing will take place at 9 a.m. Monday.

Bingham asks that the sentences be life without the possibility of parole OR the death penalty. He also asks that Cargill's bond be increased to $5 million. The judge complied with Bingham's request.

Closing arguments begin this morning in the case of an East Texas mother accused of killing her child's baby sitter.

Kimberly Cargill is charged with killing Cherry Walker, allegedly to keep her from testifying in Cargill's child custody case.

KLTV's Melanie Torre is in the courtroom and will have live updates throughout the day.

Closing Arguments in Kimberly Cargill trial

Before the jury is brought in, the term "obstruction" is removed from the charge. It previously said "obstruction and retaliation" now it just says "retaliation". The State says they'd like to remove "obstruction" as not to confuse the jury. The defense has no objections.

Judge grants 2 hour time limit per side for today's arguments. State says they'll need the two hours. Defense says they'll probably only need one.

The court plans to submit the case to the jury at noon. They will have lunch together and begin their deliberations at 1pm.

The judge reads the charge to the jury

The jury can find Cargill guilty of murder instead of capital murder if they choose.

State begins their argument. District attorney Matt Bingham begins by thanking the jury for their service on behalf of the district attorney's office and the Walker family. He goes on to explain the charge. He tells the jury they may only find Kimberly Cargill guilty on murder (instead of capital murder) if they believe Cherry was not subpoenaed and did not kill Cherry Walker as a result.

Bingham tells the jury Kimberly Cargill knowingly killed Cherry, dumped her body and set it on fire.

Bingham goes through key testimonies that he says show what happened that day and who Kimberly Cargill really is. He says the testimonies show Cargill is a lair, manipulative, selfish and controlling. He says the video from Whitehouse PD shows the real Cargill when no one is looking-- the real Cargill when she is not sitting in front of a jury. Bingham points at Cargill and asks the jury why Cargill wasn't making that scrunched up face like she was going to cry when she was at the Whitehouse Police department and Cherry Walker's burned body was laying on the side of a road like a bag of trash. Bingham calls Cargill a fruit bag and a kook. Bingham says Angela Hardin's testimony is one of the most damning because she was a friend of Cargill's who didn't want to testify to what Cargill had told her (See testimony day 2).

Bingham says every day the DA's office struggles with the fact that the subpoena they sent Cherry is what made Cargill spring into action.

Bingham says one of the things that bothers him the most is how Cargill just threw away Cherry's beloved coin purse, like another piece if trash, just like she did with Cherry's body. Bingham points at Cherry's father and says her father should at least get to keep that little coin purse but it's lying in trash somewhere. 

Bingham points to Cherry's father and tells the jury Mr. Walker had to call the Sheriff's office on Father's day 2010 asking if the burned body found on the side of the road was his daughter. Bingham says he can't imagine anything more difficult than that.

Bingham goes over Cargill's testimony, saying he can cut through her lies citing witness testimonies.

Bingham ends by telling the jury his office has grown to love Cherry and he says they're going to fight for her like she is their own daughter.

He tells the jury that Kim Cargill has had her day but not to forget about Cherry because today is Cherry's day.

Brett Harrison begins the defense's argument.

He tells the jury this case is not as simple as Mr. Bingham makes it sound. He says Cargill panicked when Cherry had a seizure in her car because she knew she would be a prime suspect of Cherry turned up dead. He says if Cargill is really as smart and manipulative as Bingham makes her sound she wouldn't have made it so obvious she was going to kill Cherry by advertising it through insistent calls to her and by calling the DAs office hours before the alleged murder. 

Harrison goes over the doctor's testimonies telling the jury they said its "unlikely" Cherry had a seizure.  He says that doesn't mean it's impossible.

Harrison tells the jury Cargill climbed on the witness stand to tell her story even though she didn't have to because it didn't make sense. He says she knew the circumstances were so suspicious and looked so bad. He says she panicked because it looked so bad.

Harrison goes over the receipts that he says are evidence Cargill took Cherry to Posadas restaurant right. He asks the jury why she would have gotten cash out when she got gas at the Exxon if she was going to take Cherry back to her garage to murder her.

"Yes she dumped her body. She did set her on fire." Harrison says Cargill "made no bones about it." 

"As disgusting as what she did to Cherry Walker's body is, that doesn't equal homicide," Harrison said.

"Where's the proof? Where's the evidence that Kim Cargill killed Cherry Walker? Where is the proof? Where is the evidence to show you it was a homicide and not something else," Harrison asks the jury.

Harrison closes by asking the jury, "How sure do you have to be before you jump out of that plane?"

Jeff Haas begins the defense's closing argument. He tells the jury it is not their duty to prove Cargill is innocent. It is the State's duty to prove she is guilty.  Haas says if Cargill really was so cold and calculated she would have calculated something better than burning and dumping a body where it easily could be found.

Haas says he wants to caution the jury to be weary of any speculative situation the state may purpose in their last argument. He says to remember most of what the state says about Walker's mechanism of death is speculation and that you don't convict people on capital murder because of speculation.

Haas says Cargill was worried that it would look bad if Cherry testified against her, but he says Cargill was also worried that Cherry would look bad and not get to babysit anymore.

Haas asks the jury  if the State of Texas has proven Cargill killed Cherry Walker when they can't even prove how she died.

He tells the jury, "Your verdict is your verdict. Your opinion is your opinion and it's entitled to respect."

There's way too much on the table to get back in that jury room and cut corners.

April Sikes begins the state's final argument.
She starts her argument quickly, loudly and passionately.

Over the course of an hour, Sikes tells the jury she has worked on this case for two years and put absolutely everything she has into it. She says she has done that out of love for Cherry.

Sikes passionately tells the jury all of the things she has learned about Cherry and everything she has grown to love about her. Many times throughout her closing argument, Sikes beings to cry.

She calls Cargill a murderer. She says she never ever said Cargill was smart.

Sikes spends about a half an hour reviewing testimonies and trying, one last time, to show the jury Cargill is lying.

Sikes says the jury is so lucky to have the opportunity to put a stop to Cargill's lies. She asks them to go back in the jury room and find her guilty of capital murder.

The jury is escorted to lunch. They will begin their deliberations at 1pm.

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