Jesseca Carson found guilty of capital murder - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Jesseca Carson found guilty of capital murder

Jesseca Carson Jesseca Carson
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courtesy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph

TYLER -- Jesseca Carson was found guilty of capital murder by a Rusk County jury in a verdict announced shortly after 4 p.m. CDT. She was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.


By KELLY GOOCH
Staff Writer

HENDERSON – Attorneys began closing arguments this morning in the capital murder trial of Jesseca Carson.


At least two Rusk County jurors wiped their eyes while Texas Attorney General Prosecuter Lisa Tanner described how Ms. Carson "sacrificed her daughter to a monster."

Tanner told the jury she was sorry they have had to sit through the evidence, but there was no way they would have seen why Ms. Carson was guilty if prosecutors didn't show the horror.

"We only did it because we had to," she said.

Ms. Carson, 20, stands trial in the Dec. 2, 2008, sexual assault and beating death of her 13-month-old daughter, Amora. Blaine Milam, her boyfriend at the time of the killing, was convicted in 2010 of capital murder and sentenced to death for his role in the crime. Prosecutors are seeking life in prison for Ms. Carson, saying that she encouraged, promoted or assisted in the crime.

Ms. Carson could be convicted of capital murder or one of the lesser offenses of felony murder or Injury to a child.

During her closing arguments, Ms. Tanner said Milam inflicted the injuries on Amora, but Ms. Carson is just as responsible because she promoted, aided or attempted to aid him.

She said the case boils down to one question : "Did she (Ms. Carson) know he was going to hurt Amora or did she know he was hurting Amora?"

Ms. Tanner also noted that Ms. Carson lied to law enforcement officials and the 911 operator, which she said shows evidence of guilt beyond being a mere bystander.

Additionally, she said, the crux of the case is that they heard testimony that Amora's death took a lot of time and was not an immediate death.

Among her other points were that having an exorcism on Amora to rid her of demons was Ms. Carson's idea, based on her interview with law enforcement, and that Ms. Carson was with Milam when he pled guilty to an unrelated charge and was told he had to register as a sex offender.

Toward the end of her closing arguments, she told jurors to ask themselves if it is more likely that Milam brainwashed Ms. Carson or that she had the idea.

"She allowed him to inflict unimaginable horror on that sweet baby …," Ms. Tanner said. "For that she is responsible."

Defense attorney Don Killingsworth also began closing arguments, also telling jurors he was sorry for photos they had to see in the case.

He talked about Ms. Carson meeting Milam, who she thought was "her prince charming."

He told jurors they heard testimony that Milam was never anything but a loving father to Amora.

He said Milam started to treat Ms. Carson badly and that evidence shows Milam used the couple's Ouija board to strengthen his control on Ms. Carson.

Killingsworth said in December 2008, Milam convinced Ms. Carson that Amora had a demon in her.

Ms. Carson has said she thought Milam was helping her baby and that she did not think he would hurt Amora.

Killingsworth also noted that Milam was not a registered sex offender when he and Ms. Carson's relationship began and that Ms. Carson might have been attending to Amora outside the courtroom when the judge admonished Milam in August 2008.

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