Day 4 of sentencing in Kimberly Cargill murder trial
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Testimony will continue today in the punishment phase for an East Texas murderer.
45-year-old Kimberly Cargill of Whitehouse was found guilty of killing her babysitter and now faces either life in prison without parole or the death penalty. In court Tuesday, two of Cargill's four sons told the jury how emotionally scarred their mother had left them. Her ex-husbands also told the jury about Cargill's violent nature.
More of Cargill's ex-husbands and her third child are expected to testify today. KLTV's Melanie Torre will be in the courtroom to bring us live updates on the trial throughout the day.
Kimberly Cargill Sentencing Day 4
James Weaver, step-father of Cargill's third husband, takes the stand. Cargill's third husband was the father of her fourth child.
Weaver starts telling the jury about medication Cargill brought to him one time. He says Cargill told him the doctor had prescribed that medication for his bladder pain so he took it, not knowing the doctor had not prescribed any medication.
Weaver says he took the medicine and about two hours later he was in the hospital getting his bladder pumped because it had completely locked up. Weaver says he never confronted Cargill about the medication because he believed she was trying to help him.
Weaver says Cargill and his step-son didn't fight in front of him but he did see the effects of their fighting. Weaver says his step-son had black eyes and cuts on his head from fights with Cargill.
Defense takes over the witness. Weaver tells the jury he and Cargill were on good terms at the time of the medication incident.
The defense asks if Weaver's step-son had been drinking when he and Cargill began fighting. Weaver says he can't remember if his step-son was drinking.
Weaver tells the jury his step-son was in and out of jail for years while he was with Cargill. He says his step-son's time with Cargill was the only time his step-son was ever in jail. Weaver says he helped his step-son out financially and spent thousands and thousands of dollars on attorneys and bonds as a result of charges Cargill filed against his step-son.
Defense asks Weaver to clarify if his step-son had an alcohol problem. Weaver says his step-son drank from time to time but wasn't an alcoholic. Defense asks if his step-son ever went to rehab for alcohol. Weaver says yes, he was ordered to.
The state has Weaver explain that. Weaver says his step-son was arrested for DWI when he was in high school and the court ordered him to attend alcohol rehab as a result.
State calls Bonnie Weaver. Bonnie Weaver is the mother of Cargill's third husband.
Bonnie Weaver says her son and Cargill's relationship was good for about 3-4 months before it took a turn.
Bonnie says she separated herself from Cargill and her son's relationship but one day Cargill called wanting Bonnie to babysit and Bonnie refused. Bonnie says Cargill told her, "I'll burn your *** and that grand kid in the house."
Bonnie says her son and Cargill got in a fight and Bonnie went over there to get the grand kids and make her son leave the apartment.
Bonnie says the next morning the fire marshal called looking for her son because he and Cargill's apartment had burned down.
Bonnie describes how disastrous the apartment was after the fire. She says there was no insurance on the apartment.
State: "Did [your son] go on and marry Kim Cargill after that?"
Bonnie Weaver: "Yes," she sighs.
Weaver tells the jury Cargill once had her son arrested three times in one weekend. She says her husband (who just testified) cashed in his 401K and spent about $22,000 as a result of Cargill getting Weaver's son arrested.
Bonnie says she didn't even know when her son and Cargill got married because Cargill had made her son stop talking to his mother. Bonnie gets a little choked up talking about this. She says her son had never stopped talking to her before.
Weaver says she didn't know much about Cargill's family. She says Cargill lead their family to believe Cargill's mother was dead. She says Cargill told their family they wouldn't be visiting Cargill's family over the holidays because Cargill's sister April "hated kids."
Bonnie says she eventually tried to get ahold of Cargill's mother because she realized Cargill had been hiding so much about herself. Bonnie says that's when they learned Cargill had been married to Michael West and had a son with him.
Bonnie tells the jury she'd tried begging, yelling, and hollering to get her son to leave Cargill. She says she told her son how he was living with Cargill was no way to live. "She had him right where she wanted him, I guess," Bonnie says.
State: When did you finally not have to put up with Kim Cargill anymore?
Bonnie: I think we've always had to put up with her.
Bonnie describes her son and grandsons' lives post-Kim Cargill as "really great."
Bonnie says Cargill wouldn't let her grandson. She says Cargill threatened to stop Weaver's son from seeing his son if he let Bonnie see him. Bonnie gets choked up then smiles and says she gets to see her grandson now. "He just spent the night with me on Saturday."
Bonnie says she now has three jobs and her husband has four. She says they should be retired but they spent their retirement on her son and Cargill's relationship and are still helping her son pay for things for the children (Weaver's son had one child before his child with Cargill). Bonnie Weaver starts softly crying when she explains her husband is 75 years old, very sick and in a lot of pain but he can't stop working because they took an extra mortgage out on their house to keep their son from going to jail when Cargill was pressing felony charges.
Cargill's third husband takes the stand. The District Attorney's office asks that the media not name him or record his testimony because of his young son.
This ex-husband says he met Cargill at Clicks in Tyler. He says they dated for about 9 months to a year before they got married. When asked what was good about his time with Cargill, this ex-husband says, "nothing."
This ex-husband testifies that Cargill had told him her oldest son (who testified Tuesday) was dead. He says he later found that not to be true. He says Cargill also told him her mother was dead. When he found out that wasn't true he confronted Cargill about it and she told him that her mother had been so awful to her that she was dead to her.
This ex-husband calls the incident where his apartment burned down "so surreal." He says the fight he and Cargill got into before the apartment burned down was the first time he actually tried breaking up with Cargill.
He says Cargill called her and said that the city marshal she had dated called her and told her about the apartment fire. He says he thought that was odd.
The state asks if this ex-husband ever confronted Cargill about the fire. He says she told him, "I would never do anything like that. I love you," and was convincing enough for him to believe her. This ex-husband says he just couldn't believe that people actually did that sort of thing so he believed she didn't do it.
He says he still married her. "I guess love is blind," he says.
This ex-husband tells the jury about a time when Cargill was having a tantrum and tossed the engagement ring he'd bought her off the balcony and into the apartment parking lot. This ex-husband says he went downstairs and found the ring.
Then the ex-husband tells a story about when he gave one of Cargill's son's permission to open a bag of potato chips. He says Cargill got so angry that the chips were opened that she attacked the ex-husband. When the ex-husband's five-year-old child from another marriage tried to get between Cargill and his dad, Cargill then began hitting the child in the face. The ex-husband took his son, left Cargill and went to his mother's house. Then he says a few minutes later he got a call from Cargill at the emergency room saying her jaw was broken because he'd hit her so hard. The ex-husband says he knows he didn't break Cargill's jaw.
He says Cargill would always call and say, "if you don't talk to me, something bad is going to happen."
This ex-husband testifies that Cargill called his ex-wife and told her he had a drug problem. Then his ex-wife showed up and took his son away. He says he hired an attorney and took a bunch of tests to prove he wasn't a drug-addict. Cargill then told him she'd sign an affidavit admitting she'd lied if he didn't press charges against her for slapping his five-year-old son.
The same ex-husband who was testifying on the stand before the lunch recess is back on the stand.
He testifies that Cargill had asked him what he would think of her if she had another one of her ex-husbands killed.
He says after they were divorced, Cargill would continue using his credit cards without permission. He says she got ahold of a temporary card and used it.
Cargill's ex-husband said he hardly ever contacted the police when Cargill was in one of her tantrums because they never did anything to help him. He says they always believed Cargill and only saw him as "the guy who was previously arrested for assaulting her," even though he says he never assaulted her. He says one time he called the police because she was lurking around his apartment. When the officer responded, the ex-husband asked the officer what he could do to put a stop to Cargill's antics. He says the Tyler police officer told him he might as well tie an extension cord around his neck and jump off his balcony because there was nothing he could do.
The ex-husband then goes into a story about one time when he was in the car with Cargill and asked Cargill not to talk about his mother. He says Cargill got mad and threw a scalding cup of drive-thru coffee on his face.
He says Cargill would tell him if he touched her things she would burn his mother and son inside his mothers house. He says he never touched one thing because he knew Cargill would be able to tell.
He says after they split up, he moved into another apartment. He says he'd hide his car when he was home so he could sleep in peace and not be bothered by Cargill. He says one day in particular he had just gotten into bed when he heard Cargill banging on his door. He says he decided not to get up because he didn't want to deal with her. Then he says he heard the front door unlock and he realized she'd somehow made herself key and had it all along. He says he knows he'd made it a point to never give Cargill a key to his new apartment.
"I'm literally scared and I've never felt like that toward anybody," he says.
The state asks Cargill's ex-husband to describe what its like at his apartment on a typical Friday night. He lived in the same complex Cherry Walker lived in. He testifies that a lot of younger people are outside hanging out, grilling, playing music. He says sometimes he gets frustrated on Fridays because there are no parking spots and everyone has guests over.
State: So if I told you there wasn't a soul around on Friday night June 18 what would you say?
Ex-husband: That's absolutely impossible.
State: Ok. That was just a side note.
State: If you had to describe Kim Cargill in one word, what would it be?
Ex-husband: Devil incarnate
Defense begins going over a timeline of this ex-husband's relationship with Cargill.
Defense questions this ex-husband about his arrests when he was with Cargill.
Defense: As a result of one of those arrests you were indicted?
Ex-husband: Yes sir. On two misdemeanors and one felony.
The ex-husband says he plead guilty and did community service.
The defense asks about the ex-husband attending alcohol awareness classes and programs and if he blamed Cargill for having to attend those classes. He says he does not blame her.
Defense asks ex-husband if he thought Cargill had a mental disorder. He says he assumed Cargill had to have a mental disorder to be acting the way she was.
The state asks the ex-husband what mental disorder he thought Cargill had. He says, "I thought she was bipolar is what I thought. It was like flipping a switch. You'd just be sitting there and she'd punch you in the face. The day I was arrested she'd taken every single dish in my apartment and thrown it around the place."
The ex-husband says he feared retaliation when CPS called and said they were taking his son away from
State: What was the situation with the drinking? I mean, I bet you needed a drink, but -- defense objects to the State's sidebar comment.
State: What was the situation with the drinking?
Ex-husband: I'd drink beer when I got home from work.
State: Did you ever get together with the other husbands and say, "Ok, if we ever go to court on Kim Cargill, here is what we're going to say."
State: So, you all have your own stories about what she did to you?
State: Have you ever heard her accept blame for something she has done?
Ex-husband: Not one day in my life.
State calls Octvaious Black. Black is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice warden. State state begins to ask her a series of questions about what life is like for female inmates on death row vs. female inmates in prison serving life sentences without parole.
Black says she works at a different unit now, but used to work at the Mountain View unit in Gatesville, Texas. That unit is where women serving life in prison without parole and women on death row are kept.
Black says right now there are about 300+ men on death row and 10 women on death row. She says some women can be approved to work. That work consists of needlepoint for quilts for about 2 hours a day. If needles are not accounted for the women are strip-searched. She says something as small as a needle can be very dangerous on death row.
No work is done outside the building. Women get to go to the rec yard for two hours every other day in groups of 2-3. The cells are about 10 X 10 with a very small window. That window has a glaze over it so you can only tell if it's daytime or nighttime. The women are allowed to buy items like candy, stamps and soda from the commissary. There is violence on death row but it's less frequent than in the non-death row side of the prison unit.
Black tells a story of two women who got in an argument in the rec yard. She says one woman was telling the other woman she was going to die before her. They got into a corner and the guards broke them up before they started physically fighting.
She says many of the inmates on death row are very manipulative and cunning. She also says some of the inmates are manipulated by the guards.
The defense asks for a running objection to this line of questioning.
Black says the contraband she sees on women's death row are typically food items, mail that didn't come through the mail room and needles that weren't on the inventory being used for tattooing.
Black says the guards wouldn't know what Cargill had been convicted of when she arrived.
A normal day for someone serving a life sentence without parole would consist of work, visitation, going to school if needed, attending religious services and programs, interacting with other inmates, participating in outside recreation and indoor recreation. The schooling includes college courses but the inmates have to pay through trust fund money or money sent though family.
Black says if serving a life sentence without parole, an inmate would start off living in what's called a dorm, each with 53 women convicted of anything from DWI and theft to injury to a child and murder. Black says in this general population group there are 4-5 assaults per week.
Black says she does not think the male unit is more violent than the female unit.
Black begins identifying threat groups (gangs) that are active in both the male and female units.
State asks Black what advice they give inmates so they assimilate into the new life style. Black says new inmates need to read their handbooks.
Black explains what privileges death row inmates don't get but would probably like to have. She says death row inmates cannot walk anywhere freely. If not in their single cells they are being hand-cuffed and escorted. They can never have physical contact with another person and they do not have access to a recreation room with televisions and games.
State: So would someone who is a manipulator be right at home at the Mountain View Unit?
Black: Maybe. Though they'll likely meet their match.
The state asks Black to talk about inmates making weapons. Black says most weapons women make can cause puncture wounds. She says they make their weapons from either from metal illegally brought in from a work detail or from sharpening plastic forks and knives.
She says the whenever a new inmate is brought in they are always tested and often manipulated by the other inmates.
The state asks something along the lines of, "So if you're someone who likes to put your hands on other peoples heads and yell in their face, that's not a good place to do that, is it?"
Black says she has seen women try to stab each other with needles, either in the throat or as close to the heart as possible. Black says there is bullying in the unit.
She says offenders who have AIDs have been known to cut themselves and cut someone else trying to infect them. She also says offenders with diseases like hepatitis have been known to throw their feces at guards or other inmates in efforts to infect them.
She says offenders in most units are friends one day and enemies the next.
Black says there are some women currently on death row who are more violent and aggressive than the rest.
Defense goes over Black's testimony asking about hypothetical inmates to see who would be eligible for protective custody. The defense also challenged parts of Black's testimony, calling for her to make some clarifications.
She says she wasn't testifying that the females were more violent than the males but that she was trying to say females have a tendency to fight more, period.
The state begins to go over a series of violent incidents when female offenders have killed other female offenders.
The state asks if a guard will jump in and try to stop a fight if one inmate is stabbing another. Black says no. She says when a weapon is present, the inmate bring attacked is on her own for a few minutes until the guards can assemble backup.
State calls Rebekah Massey, a Smith County jailer.
Massey says she has had interaction with Kim Cargill. Massey said during one of her 30 minute checks she cut on the lights in the middle of the night to make sure all of the inmates were still alive and well. She says when she flipped the lights on Cargill started cussing her out and telling her she was going to write her up.
Defense begins asking all of the details of Massey's testimony over.
Massey is on the stand for maybe a total of five minutes.
State calls a former jailer to talk about multiple reports she has documented regarding Cargill. She says Cargill refused to eat the food because some items on the plate were touching each other. The jailer says she left the food there for Cargill and Cargill got angry and threw the food and drink at the jailer. The jailer said she checked with the nurse who told her Cargill had no special dietary needs. The same jailer goes over other incidents where Cargill yelled at her or threatened to press charges against her
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