Breaking News
More () »

UPDATE: Man who found murder victim's body testifies

TYLER (KYTX) - The trial of the Whitehouse woman accused of murdering her babysitter back in June 2010 is underway in Tyler. District Attorney Matt Bingham's opening argument describes the victim, Cherry

UPDATE (May 9, 2012 TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Updated Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 4:33 p.m. CDT

Bobby Lewis testified this afternoon that he discovered the body of Cherry Walker on June 19 as he made a U-Turn on Oscar Burkett Road, or CR 2191 in Whitehouse.

Lewis testified that he got of his vehicle to make sure that it was a body and not trash on the side of the road.

Prosecutor April Sikes showed the jury photos of Ms. Walker's partially-burned body as it was found, face down.

Members of Ms. Walker's family, who were present in the courtroom, were visibly upset.

Earlier, Pertena Young, who supervised Cherry Walker's caregiver, testified that Cargill seemed to be threatening her.

Young testified that Cargill told her to go ahead and turn her in to Child Protective Services if she had to.

UPDATE (May 8, 2012) - Laura Gillespie was the first witness called in Kimberly Cargill's capital murder trial Tuesday. She began by answering basic questions about her working relationship with Cargill and by correctly identifying Cargill in the courtroom.

Gillespie said she was involved in Cargill's six year old son's healthcare.

Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham brought out phone records and showed them to Gillespie. He pointed out several lengthy phone calls which Gillespie agreed happened between herself and Cargill in the days leading up to Cherry Walker's death. Gillespie said she did not remember the specifics of those calls.

Bingham continued to go through calls that were closer to June 18th, the night Walker died, and Gillespie said she remembered several of those calls.

Bingham then brought up a call from June 18th placed from Cargill's phone to Gillespie's phone that lasted 12 minutes. Gillespie said she remembered that call.

Gillespie said several calls in the days leading up to the 18th were lengthy and involved Cargill being angry that her son had an appointment at Gillespie's clinic that she didn't know about.

"She was in an angry rage," Gillespie said. "It was very upsetting for me as a mother. I was trying to keep the tone down. She was screaming. She was so upset. I would tell her 'Kimberly, I'm going to have to end this phone call.'"

Gillespie said she became concerned for her safety and her staff's safety based on the contents of her phone calls with Cargill and changed policies with regards to locking exterior doors.

The second witness was Cory Hoover, an investigator for the Smith County District Attorney's child protection division.

Hoover said he was assigned to locate Cherry Walker for the purpose of a subpoena in the state's child custody case against Kimberly Cargill.

Hoover identified a state's evidence exhibit as the original subpoena, served at 10:09 a.m. on June 18, 2010, for Cherry Walker's appearance in the case and confirmed that she was supposed to appear in Smith County district court on June 23, 2010. That corroborated the state's earlier claims that Walker had called Cargill on June 18 and said she would be testifying against her.

Hoover also discussed what he knew to be accurate phone numbers belonging to Walker.

Bingham showed Hoover Cargill's phone records and Hoover testified that Cargill called the Distrct Attorney's office nine hours after Walker was served with the subpoena. Hoover said he never spoke directly with Cargill.

On cross examination, Cargill's defense attorney Brett Harrison asked Hoover how many people he served in Cargill's child custody case. Hoover said he did not know who else he had served or how many people he had served.

Gina Vestal was called as the third witness. Vestal worked for XL Staffing in June of 2010. She said she was responsible for placing Cargill in various positions around east Texas in her capacity as a License Vocational Nurse.

Vestal said ETMC in Athens called on the night of June 18, 2010 to ask whether Cargill had given an antibiotic to a patient.

Vestal said she, in turn, had to call Cargill about it. She said Cargill didn't answer right away and described that as unusual for her.

Vestal agreed with phone records showing that she placed numerous calls to Cargill the evening of June 18. She said ETMC was adamant that she find out whether Cargill administered the antibiotics and she was getting frustrated because Cargill was out of touch.

Vestal said Cargill called her back shortly after midnight on June 19 and said she had been sleeping throughout the evening.

Vestal said Cargill worked 10 hours on June 18 and chose not to work on June 19 after being given an opportunity.

Bingham then asked a series of questions regarding how much Cargill would have been paid per shift. Vestal said it would have been about $400 prior to taxes.

Bingham then asked Vestal whether Cargill ever mentioned her son or needing a babysitter. Vestal said it happened occasionally.

TYLER (KYTX) - The trial of the Whitehouse woman accused of murdering her babysitter back in June 2010 is underway in Tyler.

Kimberly Cargill, 45-years-old of Whitehouse woman with an extensive history of documented mental disorders, arrests and abuse allegations, entered a not guilty plea for capital murder. If convicted, she could be sentenced to death.

District Attorney Matt Bingham's opening argument describes the victim, Cherry Walker as a 39-year-old mentally disabled woman who was unable to care for herself.

Bingham goes on to say Walker lived in a small apartment and could only function with the help of a case worker who spent half of every day with her and that she had the functions of a 9 or 10 year old child.

Bingham then gives background information on Kimbery Cargill detailing that she was a LVN at the time and that she has children by four men.

He goes on to say that at the time of the offense Cargill was receiving child support and was in a custody battle over a six year old boy. If she had lost that battle, she would have had to start paying child support.

Bingham went through a timeline showing that Cargill allegedly abused one of her children and then another removed from her home by Child Protective Services on June 3, 2010. The removal of the child from her home is what set the murder in motion.

He said his own investigators, who were already working on Cargill's child custody case, knew when they found Cherry Walker and learned what Walker's involvement was that Cargill was going to have trouble keeping her child.

Bingham said Cargill also made a flurry of suspicious phone calls after listening to a voicemail on June 18th and learning that Cherry Walker had been subpoenaed in the child custody case. Bingham said Cargill had told Walker she wanted to take her out to eat an pay her to clean her house on that day.

Bingham said Cargill told Walker's caretaker that she would "hide her out" so that Walker wouldn't have to go to court. The caretaker told Kim she had to report the subpoena to her boss.

Cargill was pulled over by Chandler Police at 8 p.m. on June 18 and was unable to answer a call from Walker. From 8:02 to 8:04 Cargill is allegedly on the phone with Walker. Then Bingham said people called Cargill throughout the night and she never answered. He said that was because Cargill was busy killing Walker and then cleaning it up.

Bingham said Cargill never tried to call Walker after the night of the 18th, despite the fact that there were four more days until Walker was supposed to testify against Cargill.

Body was found at 3:30 p.m. on the 19th. Bingham said they have Burger King coffee creamers with Cargill's DNA found at the scene an said Walker's leg pulled them out of Cargill's car when Cargill pulled Walker's body out in the woods.