Day 5 of sentencing in Kimberly Cargill murder trial

Published: May. 25, 2012 at 1:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2012 at 1:22 PM CDT
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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 Thursday, the mother and step father of Cargill's third husband took the stand.

KLTV's Melanie Torre will be in the courtroom to bring us live updates on the trial throughout the day.

Cargill Sentencing Day 5

State calls Abrinne Barnes to the stand. Barnes is a Smith County jailer who has had contact with Cargill.

Barnes says on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most difficult inmate, Cargill is a 9.

Barnes tells the jury about a time when Cargill threw her food tray at her because Cargill didn't like the breakfast that was offered.

Barnes says Cargill frequently threatens the jailers saying she's going to call her attorneys and sue the jail.

State passes the witness to the defense.

Barnes says she has had quite a bit of contact with Cargill working at the jail the last two years.

Defense asks Barnes if she and Cargill have discussed personal things like their faith. Barnes says she has talked to Cargill about a few personal things.

State asks, if the jailers try to get along with inmates since they have to spend all of their time together. Barnes says she tries to get along with everyone.

State calls Allissa Jones.

Jones tells the jury a story about when she was taking inmates to recreation and Cargill got upset. Jones says she was taking the general population inmates to recreation before the isolated inmates (Cargill was isolated) and Cargill stated yelling and screaming that Jones had ruined her daily routine by taking general population inmates to recreation first.

Jones tells the jury Cargill used to be in general population but had to be removed.

Jones tells the jury a story about a day when it was raining and she couldn't offer Cargill outdoor recreation. Jones says instead she offered Cargill video recreation (a workout video she can watch in her cell) and Jones says Cargill got mad and said Jones had deprived her of recreation too many times and was violating her civil rights. Cargill told Jones she was familiar with the state regulations and Jones was violating them. Jones says she began arguing with Cargill and Cargill told Jones she was hateful and rude. Jones says talking to Cargill never helped come to a solution but always seemed to fuel the fire.

Jones says Cargill is the first inmate she has encountered that behaves the way Cargill does. Jones says she has learned Cargill is intelligent, manipulative and that it's best to keep distance from her.

Jones says Cargill has a reputation and the jailers don't like to deal with her.

Defense takes over the witness.

Jones begins answering the defense's questions. She tells the jury Cargill typically gets 1 hour of recreation a day, three days a week.

The defense asks if it's typical for there to be loud, yelling, arguing and screaming between inmates and between guards. Jones testifies this is true.

Jones says Cargill was moved for her own protection because she would repeatedly do things to upset the other inmates.

Jones says Cargill doesn't just cause trouble with the guards but with other inmates.

Jones says Cargill is different than any other inmate she has ever encountered. Jones says she's in the business of dealing with clever and manipulative people but Cargill takes things to a whole new level.

The state shows Jones a sharp object that was found in Cargill's cell.  Jones says she did not know Cargill ever had an item like that. Jones tells the jury they conduct cell searches.

Defense asks Jones if Cargill ever violated the rules by having too many books. Jones says Cargill did violate that rule. Jones testifies that Cargill has an enormous amount of legal work and papers in her cell.

State calls Bobbie Maxey to the witness stand. Maxey works at both the low-risk jail and the main jail. She has been working at the Smith County Jail for six years.

Maxey says Cargill is one of the most controlling and demanding inmates she has ever dealt with.

Maxey says if Cargill does something wrong, she'll try to turn it around and blame it on the person who is dealing with her.

Maxey says Cargill is often moved for her protection even though she's creating the situations that make other inmates mad at her. Maxey says Cargill often makes inmates mad by giving them legal advice and telling them how to handle their cases.

Maxey says one day Cargill was being particularly difficult because it was time for recreation and Cargill refused to come out of her cell because she needed a half an hour to get dressed and fix her hair. The state asks why Cargill needed 30 minutes to fix herself up so she can go stand around in a cage on the roof. Maxey says she has no idea.

Maxey says Cargill accused Maxey of treating her wrong because she was kin to Cherry Walker. Maxey says she doesn't know where Cargill got that from. Maxey says she never met Cherry Walker.

Maxey says she doesn't have to deal with Cargill anymore and her days are much better.

State passes the witness.

The defense begins to talk to Maxey about how Cargill is allowed to have her legal work and writing utensils in her cells and is allowed to be brought special outfits for her trial.

State calls Sheila Elder. Elder says she has dealt with Cargill in the jail. She says dealing with Cargill is like riding a roller coaster. Everything is soft and calm and all of a sudden it takes off and you're in for a bumpy ride. 

Elder says Cargill acts like her world is tumbling down if the smallest thing happens, like her banana has a bruise on it or too much disinfectant is used to clean her cell.

Elder has a very animated testimony about her encounters with Cargill.

She says Cargill will spread lies, warning other guards and inmates about Elder. She says then people already have false preconceived notions about Elder before she ever meets them and they treat Elder differently because of it.

Elder says she was once cleaning Cargill's cell with another new guard who was training with Elder. She says Cargill began instigating an argument. Elder says she gave in and started arguing with Cargill and then Cargill said, "I can't believe you're acting the way you're acting right now in front of a trainee." Elder says she replied, "Cargill, I can't believe you acted the way you did that put you in here." Elder says Cargill then acted insulted as if she was the victim of the argument and called another guard to tell the guard how mean Elder was being to her.

Elder says she remembers on July 9, 2011 she saw a news story with an update on Cargill's trial and what she was accused of doing and how she could receive the death penalty. Elder says she decided that day to never argue with Cargill ever again and hasn't since. 

Elder says despite everything Cargill has said and done to her, she'll always treat Cargill like a human being because while Cargill is caged, she is not an animal.

Defense asks if Elder has ever thought Cargill had a mental disorder. The state objects to Elder answering that question. 

State calls Kimberly Bowser. Judge calls 15 minute recess.

Bowser says Cargill can be difficult at times. Bowser says at first Cargill was bossy but has since calmed down toward her.

Bowser says Cargill is not someone she wants to deal with. She says a couple times Cargill has actually apologized for treating her poorly.

Defense asks Bowser if she once went through an envelope marked "attorney/client," Bowser says yes.

The sate asks Bowser if she was going through the documents and reading them or just checking them for staples, paper clips or other sharp objects. She says she was just checking them.

State calls Gary Pinkerton. He is currently the chief over the Smith County Jail and has been working at the Smith County Jail for more than 20 years.

He says Cargill is hard to deal with. He says Cargill has been moved to every type of cell the Smith County jail offers.

Pinkerton says Cargill violated a lot of the Smith "County jail policies. He says there has never been a time when Cargill wasn't trouble.

Pinkerton says other inmates have told guards, "Move Cargill or there's going to be trouble."

He says since the trial Cargill's behavior had gotten worse.

State: If you had a whole jail of Kimberly Cargills, what would you do?

Pinkerton: It'd be a nightmare.

State passes the witness.

Defense asked Pinkerton if he is familiar with the chicken pecking analogy. He says he is not. Defense asks Pinkerton if all these instances people have been testifying to are old and if Cargill has been behaving well this year. Pinkerton says Cargill has had problems this year. Defense asks if Pinkerton has reports of those problems. Pinkerton says he does not have them with him. Defense asks Pinkerton, "Well, you knew you were going to testify today, did you not?" and passes the witness.

State asks Pinkerton if Cargill is an inmate he'll forget. Pinkerton says he'll always remember Cargill. State asks what Pinkerton is going to do when the jury makes their decision on Cargill's sentencing. Pinkerton says he is going to move Cargill out of the Smith County jail as soon as possible.

Pinkerton is dismissed as a witness and the state rests their case.

Judge Skeen decides the court will be in recess until 9:30am Tuesday.

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