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Day 7 of sentencing in Kimberly Cargill murder trial

Published: May. 30, 2012 at 12:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2012 at 12:58 PM CDT
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Testimony continued today in the sentencing phase of the Kimberly Cargill murder trial.

Kimberly Cargill could get either life in prison or the death penalty for killing Cherry Walker in 2010.

In court Tuesday, a forensic psychiatrist testified that Cargill suffers from borderline personality disorder.

KLTV's Melanie Torre was in the courtroom to bring us live updates on the trial throughout the day. The court has adjourned for the day; here are the complete notes from today's session.

Cargill Sentencing Day 7

Defense calls Kimberly Washington. Washington has worked at the downtown jail for about 5 years. She says she has had daily contact with Cargill, never had any issues with her or had any reason to write her up.

Defense passes the witness.

The state asks Washington about a December incident involving Cargill demanding to use the phone so she could call her attorneys and file a civil rights lawsuit. Washington says she does not remember the incident. The state shows Washington a written report of the incident and she says she vaguely remembers it. She says the phone wasn't working and she thinks Cargill just didn't understand that. 

Washington says she has never seen Cargill have any contraband in her cell. She says Cargill once had a cross on the wall in her cell. Washington says she told Cargill to take it down and she did.

The state asks Washington about Cargill's reputation with the other guards. Washington says Cargill has a tendency to be needy but she's only ever asking for things she's supposed to have.

Washington says she has never seen Cargill treat anyone differently than Cargill treats her. Washington says she has no problems with Cargill.

State passes the witness.

The defense asks Washington about Cargill's relationship with Deputy Cagle. Washington says they seem to have a fine relationship.

Defense calls Jerdene Boyd. Boyd was a Smith County inmate while Cargill was in jail. Boyd says she spent about 3 months in a pod with Cargill. Boyd has since been convicted on an intoxicated manslaughter charge and is in TDCJ. Boyd says Cargill cried a lot an she would console her. Boyd says Cargill would make her bed for her and fix her hair. Boyd says Cargill didn't get along well with other inmates because the inmates treated Cargill poorly and Cargill tried to be nice to them. Boyd says she liked Cargill and Cargill was good to her.

Defense passes the witness. State asks Boyd if she only knew Cargill for 3 of the 24 months Cargill was present in the jail. Boyd says yes.

The state goes over Boyd's offense. Boyd says she killed Mr. Bass, a gentleman from DFW, by rear-ending him at Broadway and the loop. Boyd says she does not know Bass's first name. Boyd is serving the 20 year term a jury sentenced her to when she plead guilty at her trial.

Defense asks Boyd if she was with Cargill approximately Jan-March 2011. Boyd says yes.

Judge calls for a short recess so he can take up an ex parte matter with the defense attorneys and the defendant.

The jury is brought back in and the defense reads them a written stipulation that allows Cargill's pharmacy records to be admitted into evidence without the testimony of a records custodian.

The Sate calls their first rebuttal witness Tim Procter. Proctor is a forensic psychologist. Proctor goes over his extensive educational background. He says at this point in his career, his main duties are evaluating people for studies, legal matters, teaching and some treatment. Proctor says he is based in Dallas but regularly appointed by Smith County judges to do competency (or other) evaluations on inmates. Proctor explains the purpose of board certification in psychology. He says becoming board certified requires the appropriate educational background, a written exam, two 100 page written samples and a 3 person oral exam. He says it's quite a feat but not everyone has to do it. Proctor is certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology. He says there are a lot of boards out there but ABPP is the most well respected.

The State asks about the American College of Forensic Examiners. This is the board the defense's witness Jonathan Lipman was certified by. Proctor says he is hesitant to say anything negative about a professional organization but he is aware there have been investigations into the American College of Forensic Examiners. Proctor says there is nothing that regulates or stops boards that are created so it's up to the consumer to be aware of the boards that are out there.

Proctor interviewed Cargill on Monday for approximately 3 hours then spent another hour and a half testing Cargill.

Proctor says he has no concerns about McGarrahan's administering of the tests she gave Cargill (McGarrahan testified yesterday). He says he respects McGarrahan's work and knows she does things correctly.

Proctor begins talking about the tests he gave Cargill. The MMPI2RF test is a personality test of basic psychological function. He says Cargill's test results showed she feels like someone is out to get her and people are intending to do her harm. Proctor also says Cargill has a difficult time not providing an enormous amount of details (some relevant, some not relevant) when trying to communicate with others.

Proctor says he agrees with McGarrahan's assessment of Cargill's personality and then some. He says he believes Cargill has borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and all of the traits of anti-social personality disorder (with the exception of showing signs at a young age).

Proctor says personality disorders are significantly more difficult to treat than mental illnesses. He says you can treat symptoms of personality disorders, like depression, but you can't treat the underlying cause of the depression.

Proctor testifies Cargill showed a lack of interest and motivation in attempting to treat her disorder through therapy. He says he thinks this trial has served as an eye opener for Cargill because she has been forced to hear what people have to say about her and accept that she has a problem.

Proctor explains psychosis as being out of touch reality and delusional. While he says Cargill is out of touch with reality to an extent, she is not psychotic.

Proctor says just having one personality disorder would make someone's life extremely difficult. Proctor says having three personality disorders like he believes Cargill has makes it exponentially more difficult to communicate with people. He says despite these disorders, Cargill has no reason not to know the difference between right and wrong.

State calls Edward Gripon. Gripon is a medical doctor and a psychologist.

Gripon says he is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He says the American College of Forensic Examiners is not recognized by the field of psychiatry. He says the American College of Forensic Examiners once certified a cat. 

Gripon says he interviewed Cargill on Monday and believes she has borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder and traits of an anti-social  disorder. 

Gripon says the extreme side effects that were testified to yesterday made him wonder why a doctor would ever prescribe those medications.

Gripon says he doesn't believe the medication affected Cargill's actions because Solexa has low half-life and would have been completely out of her system by the time of the offense.

Gripon says Cargill also told him she stopped taking Klonapin in May too and he sees the medication having no effect on her decision to commit the offense.

15 minute recess.

Gripon says people who have been working closely with attempts to treat borderline personality disorder are not generally optimistic. He says treatment in general always fails. Gripon says its hardly possible to live with the disorders Cargill has and have a "well-adjusted existence."

Gripon says he doesn't believe Cargill's claims to have Lupus and Crohn's disease would have any effect on her behavior that may result in committing the offense she did.

State passes the witness. 

Defense asks Gripon if he thinks they are trying to use Lupus or Crohn's disease as an excuse for Cargill's actions. Gripon says no.

Defense and Gripon discuss the types of side effects of medications, coming off medications and what happens when someone has Lupus paired with a personality disorder. He says all of these things could result in behavior changes for a patient but he does not believe any I these things are present in this case.

Both the defense and the state rest. Recess until 8:30 a.m. tomorrow when the judge will read the jury the charge. The defense and prosecution will be given equal time to make their closing arguments and then the jury will begin deliberations.

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