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.,.,.,

:::~ ~

........ " ."

NO. 00-00-24467-CR

THB STATE OF TEXAS

• IN THE 13TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

*

VS.

OF

CAMERON TODD WILLINGHAM

10

NAVARRO COUNTY. TEXAS

STATEMENT OF FACTS VOLUME XIII of ~~ Volumes

GUILT-INNOCENCE PHASE OF

TRIAL ON THE MERITS (MORNING OF THIRD DAY) (ARGUMENTS OF COUNSEL, DELIBERATIONS AND VERDICT)

COpy

Mr. John H. Jackson

and

Mr. Alan J. Bristol

First Assistant District Attorney Assistant District Attorney

Navarro County, Texas

300 W. Third Avenue, 2nd Floor Corsicana. Texas 75110

Navarro County, Texas

300 W. Third Ave •• 2nd FIr. corsicana, Texas 75110

For the State of Texas;

Mr. David H. Martin

Attorney at Law and

DAWSON, SODO, MOE & MARTIN

800 Ferris Avenue, Suite 200 Waxahachie, Texas 75165

For the Defendant.

Mr. Robert C. Dunn Attorney at Law

115 W. Collin Street Corsicana, Texas 75110

-------------------~---------------------------------------_--

On the morning of the 20th day at August, 1992, the above and entitled cause came on to be heard for trial in the said Court, Honorable Xanneth A. "Buck" Dou~1etr. RtBJe Pre~idinq,

~~~-~~~-=~=~~~:~~-~~~~~~~:~~~-~~~g~~i!~~~-~~~--------

NOV (i ::: 1992,

X'ri <;:,. 11.' I tit r~ leu ",._,--

6" 'If.l ' ( I'i.· I'( Texas

]",-:&: ~1"i'1rie1 (;<,;I1t. Navam> CoUll .

\" e:". ,a

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PAGE NO.

CAPTION PAGE--------------------------------------------- 1

DEFENSE'S MOTION FOR INSTRUCTED VERDICT(denied)---------- 2

DB~ENSE'S OBJECTION TO THE COURT'S CHARGE(overruled)----- 3

THE COURT READS THE COURT'S CHARGE TO THE JURY----------- 4

STATE'S OPENING ARGUMENT(by Mr. Jackaon)----------------- 10 DEFENSE'S ARGUMENT(by Mr. Martin)------------------------ 13 STATE'S CLOSING ARGUMENT(by Mr. Jacksonl----------------- 30 DEFENSE ATTORNEY OBJECTS TO STATE'S BIBLE DISPLAYED------ 31 STATE RESUMES MAKING CLOSING ARGUMENT(by Mr. Jackson}---- 32 JURY BEGIN DELIBERATIONS--------------------------------- 49

JURY VBRDICT--------------------------------------------- 49

JURY PANEL POLLED---------------------------------------- 50 LUNCH RECESS; AFTERNOON PROCEEDINGS (8/20/92) IN VOL. XIV- 52 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE------------------------------------ 53

-i-

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THE COURT: That Motion for an Instructed Verdict

THE COURT: Bill. bring the panel in. MR. DUNN: May I, Your Honor?

THE COURT: No: no, excuse me.

DBFENSS·S MOTION FOR INSTRUCTED VERDICT

THE COURT: Okay; do you have a Motion that you

6 care to be heard on?

7

MR. DUNN: Your Honor. I have a Motion before the

8 Court for an Instructed Verdict instructing this jury to find

9 the defendant--

10 11 12 13

THE COURT: Excuse me-MR. DUNN: --not guilty.

THE COURT: --excuse me just a minute.

Bill, that's fine. That will be fine. No; you're fine

14 right where you are. That's fine.

15 MR. DUNN: The Motion, Your Honor, is based on

16 the evidence that's submitted to this Court; and it is evident

17 in my opinion that the State has not proved a prima facie case

18 case and that this jury should be instructed to find the

19 defendant not guilty_

20

21 is denied.

22 MR. DUNN: Your Honor, we also have several

23 objections--

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THE COURT: I understand. MR. DUNN: --to the charge.

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DEFENSE'S OBJECTIONS TO THE COURT'S CHARGE

MR. DUNN: We have been furnished a copy of the

Charge that is, I understand, the Court's Charge.

We have asked for separate charges on the offense of

murder, which we believe has been brought before this court in

evidence, and a Charge should be given on each -- an offense

of murder on each of the three individual victims.

We ask that the Court also include a separate Charge on

the offense of arson, which is a First Degree Felony. And we

also ask the Court for a Charge on impeachment of witnesses,

which we have submitted in separate requests to the Court.

We also object, Your Honor, to paragraphs three and

four because they are multifariouB in nature and this --

because of the confusing presentation in the Charge, they

misplace the burden of proof and remove it to the defendant.

Which we will file our objections.

THE COURT: The requested

the defendant's

requested Charges are denied.

MR. DUNN: Note our exception, Your Honor.

THE COURT: The Charge -- the objection to the

Court's Charge is overruled. Okay?

Now bring the panel in, Bill.

(The jury entered the courtroom and the following proceedings were had:)

THE COURT: The jury panel is back in place.

Bde J. Swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th District Court

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between what actually occurred and what he desired,

And I am going to now read the Court's Charge to the

2 jury.

3 THE COURT READS CHARGE TO THE JURY

4 Members of the jury, the defendant, Cameron Todd

5 Willingham, stands charged by Indictment with the offense of

6 capital murder, alleged to have been committed in Navarro

7 County, Texas, on the 23rd day of December 1991. To this

8 charge the defendant has pleaded not guilty.

9 You are instructed that you will consider only the

10 guilt or innocence of the defendant from the evidence admitted

11 before you and from the law as given to you in this Charge by

12 the Court.

13 You are instructed that the law applicable to this case

14 is as follows: Our law provides that a person commits the

15 offense of murder if he intentionally or knowingly causes

16 the -- the death of an individual. A person commits the

17 offense of capital murder if he commits murder as defined

18 above and he murders more than one person during the same

19 criminal transaction.

20 A person acts intentionally or with intent with respect

21 to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective

22 or desire to cause the result. "Individual" means a human

23 being who has been born and is alive. A person is criminally

24 responsible for causing a result if the only difference

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contemplated, or risked is that a different person or property was injured, harmed or otherwise affected.

Now bearing in mind the foregoing instructions, if you

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cause the death of an individual, Kameron Willingham, by starting a fire within a habitation occupied by the said

4 find from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that on or

S about the 23rd day of December 1991, in Navarro County, Texas,

6 as alleged in the Indictment, the defendant, Cameron Todd

7 Willingham, did then and there intentionally murder more than

8 one person during the same criminal transaction, to wit: The

9 said Cameron Todd Willingham did intentionally cause the death

10 of an individual, Karmon Willingham, by starting a fire within

11 a habitation occupied by the said Karmon Willingham, and the

12 said Cameron Todd Willingham did then and there intentionally

15 Karen -- Kameron Willingham, with the express intent to cause

16 the death of the said Kameron Willingham, and the said Cameron

17 Todd Willingham did then and there intentionally cause the

18 death of an individual, Amber Kuykendall, by starting a fire

19 within a habitation occupied by the said Amber Kuykendall,

20 with the express intent to cause the death of the said Amber

21 Kuykendall, you will find the defendant guilty of capital

22 murder.

23 Unless you so find beyond a reasonable doubt or if you

24 have a reasonable doubt thereof, you will find the defendant

2S not guilty of capital murder. If you find the defendant,

5

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Cameron Todd willingham, guilty of the offense of capital murder according to the foregoing paragraphs, you're

----- -- ---- -- - -----_. ---_. ---- ..... _._-.-- -- ----------

3 instructed to disregard paragraph tour which addresses count 2

4 of the Indictment which deals with the alleged murder of the

5 first two individuals named above only.

6 If you find the defendant, Cameron Todd Will --

7 Willingham, not guilty of the murder of three individuals as

8 alleged above, you ahall proceed to consider whether the

9 defendant is guilty of capital murder as alleged in Count 2 of

10 11

the Indictment, as Bet out in the following paragraph.

Now bearing in mind the foregoing instructions, if you

12 find from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that on or

13 about the 23rd day of December 1991, in Navarro County, Texas,

14 as allege~ in the -- in Count 2 of the Indictment, the

15 defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham, did then and there

16 intentionally murder more than one person during the same

17 criminal transaction, to wit: The said Cameron Todd

18 Willingham did intentionally cause the death of an individual,

19 Karmon Willingham, by starting a fire within a habitation

20 occupied by the said Karman Willingham, with the express

21 intent to cause the death of the said Karmon Willingham, and

22 the said Cameron Todd Willingham did then and there

23 intentionally cause the death of an individual, Xameron

24 2S

Willingham, by starting a fire within a habitation occupied by the said Xameron Willingham, with the express intent to cause

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the death of the said kameron Willingham, you will find the defendant guilty of capital murder. Unless you so find beyond a reasonable doubt or it you have a reasonable doubt thereof, you will find the defendant cap -- not guilty of capital murder.

Our law provides that a defendant may testify in his on behalf if elect -- if he elects so to do. This, however, is a privilege accorded the defendant: and in the evant he elects not to testify, that fact cannot be taken as a circumstance against him. In this case the defendant has elected not to testify. and you are instructed that you cannot and must not refer or elude to that fact throughout your deliberations or take it into consideration for any purpose whatsoever as a circumstance against him.

A Grand Jury Indictment is the means whereby a defendant is brought to trial in a felony prosecution. It is not evidence of guilt, nor can it be considered by you in passing upon the question of guilt of the defendant.

The burden of proof in all criminal cases rests upon the state throughout the trial and never shifts to the defendant.

All persons are presumed to be innocent and no person may be convicted of an offense unless each element of the offense is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The fact that a person has been arrested, confined or indicted for or

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otherwise charged with the offense gives rise to no interence

of guilt at his trial.

The law doe8 not require a defendant to prove the

innocence or produce any evidence at all. The presumption of

innocence alone is sufficient to acquit the defendant unless

the jurors are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt of the

defendant's guilt after careful and impartial consideration of

all of the evidence in the case.

The prosecution has the burden of proving the defendant

guilty, and it must do so by proving each and every element of

the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt. And if it

fails to do so, you must acquit the defendant. It is not

required that the prosecution prove guilt beyond all possible

doubt. It is re -- it is required that the prosecution's

proof excludes all reasonable doubt concerning the defendant's

guilt.

A reasonable doubt is a ba -- doubt based on reason and

common sense after a careful and impartial consideration of

all the evidence in the case. It is the kind of doubt that

would make a reasonable person hesitate to act in the most

important of his own affairs. Proof beyond a reasonable

doubt, therefore, must be proof of such. convincing character

that you would be -- be willing to rely and act upon it

without hesitation in the most important of your own affairs.

In the event you have a reasonable doubt as to the

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defendant's guilt after considering all the evidence before you and these instructions, you will acquit him and say by your verdict "not guilty. II

You are the exclusive judges of the facts proved, of the credibility of the witnesses and the weight to be given their testimony. But the law you shall receive in these written instructions and you must be governed thereby.

After you retire to the jury room you should select one of your members as your foreman. It is the foreman's duty to preside at your deliberations, vote with you and when you have unanimously agreed upon a verdict, to certify to your verdict by using the appropriate form attached hereto and signing the same as foreman.

No one has any authority to communicate with you except the officer who has you in charge. During your deliberations in this case you must not consider, discuss, nor relate any matters not in evidence before you. You should not consider nor mention any personal knowledge or information you may have about any fact or person connected with this case which is not shown by the evidence.

After you have retired you may communicate with this Court in writing through the officer who has you in charge.

Do not attempt to talk to the officer who ha. you in charge or the attorneys or the Court or anyone else concerning any question you may have.

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After you have reached a unanimous verdict, the foreman

2 will certify thereto by filling in the appropriate form

3 attached to this Charge and signing the same as foreman.

4 5

THB COURT: Does the State care to be heard? MR. JAC~SON: Yes, Your Honor: the State will

6 choose to open and close--

7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

THE COURT; Yes, sir,

MR. JACKSON: --Arguments.

THB COURT: Forty-five minutes to a side: okay?

MR. MARTIN: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Okay.

MR. JACKSON: May it please the Court.

STATE'S OPENING ARGUMENT

BY MR. JACKSON:

Members of the jury, 1 want to thank you very much for

your service in this case.

I think all of you understand that jury duty can be a

18 tough job; it can be an onerous job. You understood that, 1

19 think, before we went through the jury selection process. I

20 think all of us here let you know that it would be a tough job

21 and you would have tough decisions to make. I think you

22 understand how tough those decisions are right now.

23 I want you -- each one of you to be sure that the State

24 of Texas and the District Attorney's Office appreciates your

25 service as jurors in this case. And I think I speak for

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defense counsel and tbe Court by thanking you for your service and letting you know how important a service you do; because, as you told us -- as we told you before, you are the judges of the facts in this case. You are the folks who have to listen to the evidence and sort out the fact from the fiction.

Now members of the jury, we've reached that stage of trial known variously as the "Arguments" or "Summations." Lawyers generally call this stage of trial "Argument part of trial." I don't think it's really an argument; I'm not going to stand up here and argue with anybody unless I have to.

It's really a summation. The attorneys try to sum up and pick out those aspects of the evidence that we believe are important to our respective cases. And that's what I'll be attempting to do; and I'm sure that·s what Mr. Martin will be attempting to do in this case.

I want you to fully understand, though, members of the jury, what the attorneys say is not evidence. The only evidence that you are authorized to consider in this case comes from that witness stand, as well as these exhibits, photographs, documents and other articles that have been admitted into evidence by the Court. I want you to fully understand that.

I want you to understand that the state has the right to open and close Argument. because the State haa the burden of proof in this case. We both have an identical amount of

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I want you to understand something else. And I think

time to argue to the jury, but my Argument will be split up_

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my summation to you will be brief in my opening here.

3 It will be passed to Mr. Martin, he will make his Summation,

4 then I will speak to you in closing, and only to respond and

5 comment to the remarks that he may have made. I want you to

6 fully understand that.

7

8 you already understand it, but I want to remind you of it.

9 You know, when you take that oath as a -- as a juror to do

10 your duty according to the law and the evidence, that doesn't

11 mean you have to throw your common sense out the window,

12 members of the jury. We expect you to use your common sense.

13 We expect you to use your life experience. We expect you to

14 use the same thought processes in arriving at your verdict

15 that you do in all your important decisions. I want you to

16 keep that in mind.

17 I want you, as you listen to the evidence -- excuse me;

18 listen to the Arguments of counsel, I want you to think about

19 the evidence in the case. As you listen to what an

20 attorney -- an attorney says in his Summation, I want you to

21 ask yourself: Is that statement supported by the evidence? I

22 want you to ask yourself: Is that what I heard in this case?

23 I want you to test that Argument, that Summation, in light of

24 the evidence that you heard. I believe if you do that, you'll

2S arrive at the proper verdict inthia case. I'll complete my

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opening; I'll give the floor to Mr. Martin. I'll speak to you once again.

Thank you.

TH! COURT: Mr. Martin.

MR. MARTIN: Thank you, Your Honor.

DEFENSE'S ARGUMENT

BY MR. MAR.TIN:

May it please the Court and ladies and gentlemen of the

A pivotal point; your decision that you make after you retire to the jury room will either irrevocably commit Todd Willingham to life in prison or death by injection, or by a verdict of not guilty, his return from wherever he came and back down whatever road of life he was on before this. It is the most important decision that has ever been made in his life. And I:want us to examine, if I may, the origins of your responsibility, to emphasize to the best of my ability what it is that the law requires you to do.

And we can trace what we're doing here back 4,000 years, ladies and gentlemen, in our culture to the time of the law of Hoses. And I want to begin by lookino at how it originated and where we are now and what this Court is charging you to do. We often hear ot the Biblical principle, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. What we do not hear so much, though, is what the process was before that came

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responsibility of the finders of fact? Moses said. in the

to be a consideration. What inquiry was made? What was the

2

3 book of Deuteronomy, that, "The accusation should be told

4 thee," -- that is, told to the judges -- and when "thou hast

5 heard of it and inquired diligently." That word in the Hebrew

6 means to make well-lit. After you have lit the subject up and

7 shined liqht all around on it so that no part was hidden from

8 you. Then, "Behold if it be true and the thing certain" -- if

9 it was proved certainly -- ftthat such abomination is wrought

10 in Israel, then thou shalt bring forth that man or that woman

11 which hath committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates"

12 where the people are, just as we are here: in front of all of

13 the people, the accused was brought -- "even that man or that

14 woman. and ahall stone them with stones till they die. At the

15 mouth of two witnesses" -- always at least two witnesses were

16 required -- "or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of

17 death be put to death, but at the mouth of one witness he

18 shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall

19 be first put upon him." That was the original safeguard. It

20 was the hands of tbe witnesses who were first put upon him

21 becauBe God, recognizing that man can make mistakes -- unlike,

22 for example, the witness, Mr. Vasquez, who has never erred,

23 God recognizes that we can make mistakes. So every safeguard

24 was instituted in the procedure before it became an eye for

25 and eye; the witnesses put their hands on him first. We have

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changed the process somewhat, but not too much over 4,000 years. We still bring the person who is accused before the Judge and we bring him to the gates of the city before all of the people, but now it is not the witnesses that put their hands on him. Now we have instituted a system where the jury reaches the conclusion. But it is based on the same thing.

It is what comes out of the mouth of the witnesses upon which you must base your decision. But the law is, as the Judge has read to you in the Charge", that your conclusion must be such that you would act without hesitation in your own affairs. No longer do the witnesses first lay their hands on the accused and cast the first stone, but that same personal application is transferred now to the jury. What would you do in our own affairs? Has the State proved to you to that degree of certainty that you would act without hesitation? If they have not, they have not carried the onerous burden that the law places on them. Without hesitation. That's what the law requires.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, the ultimate question is guilt or innocence, but you decide that based upon the presence or the absence of a reasonable doubt in this case. Have the accusers ao convinced you that you can act without any hesitation?

Let me review, it I may, what we know. The State co.es to you with a theory based upon circumstances. And it is

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their burden to convince you beyond any reasonable doubt of the moat unreasonable of circumstances. That a father would

3 murder his children. An act utterly foreign to the mind of

4 almost anybody in the world. That is where the State begins,

5 ladies and gentlemen, with the most unreasonable of

6 conclusions; and they have the responsibility and the burden

7 to convince you that the most unreasonable of things has

8 happened. Have they done so? What do we know?

9 We know this: There was a fire in the home and that

10 three children died. That is not disputed. We know that

11 Cameron Todd Willingham was in the home and he lived. We know

12 that the back door was blocked because there were two

13 refrigerators in the kitchen. But may I remind you of why we

14 know that? We know that, not because the Prosecution brought

15 it out, though they could havei we know that because the back

16 of the picture that shows the two refrigerators is marked

17 "Defendant's Bxhibit." And as you look through the

18 photographs that I will refer to, you will notice that every

19 one of them is marked "Defendant's Bxhibit." Though the State

20 knew, though the Prosecution was aware and their own witness

21 took these pictures, it wasn't brought out until the Defense

22 Cross Examination. Why i. that? Because it i. the nature of

23 people with a burden to want to lay it down at somebody else's

24 feet. The Prosecution begins the case and they carry this

25 burden only so far and then they run into an obstacle--a

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2 their theory; and so they don't bring it to you. They take

3 their burden ott and they lay it at the feat of the jury and

4 they say, "Just carry this for me over this obstacle, if you

5 willi" and they want you to assume and to jump to conclusions,

6 as Hr. Vasquez does. "Ignore the things that don't fit the

7 theory, ladies and gentlemen; carry your burden forth," they

8 say to you. Don't let them do it. That is not the law.

9 Why didn't Hr. Vasquez tell us there were two

10 refrigerators in the house? When he testified initially, he

11 wanted to leave you with the distinct impression that a

12 refrigerator had been pushed in front of the back door to

13 block escape. It is not 80i it is not the truth. The truth

16 We know that the northeast bedroom burned and we know

17 that the hallway burned. We know because a witness said --

18 Amy O'Shea -- that there was an oil lamp in the hallway -- an

19 oil lamp in the hallway, with oil in it. But did the

20 Prosecution point that out? Did Mr. Vasquez, as he went

21 through this house, examine the hallway for containers that

22 could have had a combustible liquid in it? Remember what he

23 said when we pointed out to him the photograph that showed the

24 lamp on the floor? This one here. He said, "I never looked

2S at it: I never paid any attention to it." He didn't look at

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photograph, a tact, a piece of evidence--that doesn't match

is that there were two refrigerators in the house, that we had to point it out.

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it or pay any attention to it because it didn't fit in with his theory. They take their burden off and they lay it at your teet and say, "Just carry it for us now over this other obstacle, if you will. Assume with us, jump to this conclusion with us, will you, ladies and gentlemen?" they ask you. Why doesn't the arson investigator look through the house for containers that would have had a combustible liquid in them? Because it doesn't fit with his theory. The man has investigated 2,000 fires, ladies and gentlemen. And I hope that it caught your notice, as it did mine, when he was asked, "Were they all arson?" Remember what he said? "No; a few weren't." Every fire he investigates is arson; every occupant a criminal. Can that be so? Can a man not make a mistake in 25 years? Do we trust the opinion of a person who will not acknowledge that it is possible for him to make a mistake? We know he didn't look at this. The tire was telling him a story. But, ladies and gentlemen, as it told him the story, a significant chapter was omitted. Again, you'll see that this picture is marked "Defense Exhibit."

The State had it; the Prosecution knew about it, but it was left up to us to introduce the photograph of the barbeque grill on the front porch. And where is the grill? The grill is between the windows and the front door. It is near to the front door. Where do you keep the charcoal lighter fluid at your house? I keep mine by the charcoal grill. Now, after a

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dozen firemen and three or four hoses have been on the porch and a fire was fought for we don't know how long, the charcoal lighter container wound up down on the end of the porch. But look at those pictures of where it was found. The wall above it is not burned up, and I would say that most probably -- and you come to your own conclusion -- but I would say that most probably the charcoal lighter fluid started out where the charcoal grill was on the front porch; that the heat melted tha plastic container. And we've seen that charcoal lighter fluid will run across a surface, even in the presence of an open flame. The charcoal lighter fluid container melts, the charcoal lighter fluid comes out of it and it runs to the porch, at the bottom of the house: and that's why it's on the wood. But as this fire was telling Mr. Vasquez this story, this entire chapter was omitted. He finds an accelerant on the front of the house at the threshhold--the carchoal lighter fluid--but he doesn't know anything about a charcoal grill being out there. And so, just like in those other 2,000

fires, he he says, "Hot; an arsonist; an arsonist is at foot here because we found accelerant on the outside of the house." And so then he begins his investigation, like those 2,000 others, looking for that arsonist. Kicks over the oil lamp in the hallway, no doubt, has it shoveled out, and begins to look to confirm his own suspicions.

Now, we had other fire investigators testify, Doug Fogg

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was saturated with a combustible liquid. They sent them to

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and Hr. Palos. They are from Corsicana. They are with the

2

Fire Department here. They investigate fires all the time,

3 and that is the fire marshal's job. That's what he does. Hr.

4 Pogg -- Chief Fogg looked at it. He testified, "The patterns

5 in the floor can be made by falling debris, burning glue on

6 the tile." The floor was covered with flammable substances.

7 Glue under the tile and tar paper under that. Hr. Fogg

8 testified similar patterns can be made like that, to make you

9 think ther~ was an accelerant on the floor. Mr. Palos said

10 the same thing. Do those gentlemen have a reasonable doubt

11 about this case? They most certainly do. They doubted it

12 very much. So they called in Mr. Vasquez. He's with the

13 State Fire Marshal's Office. The Prosecution carries their

14 burden a little further. But the witnesses here have a doubt,

15 so, they, again, they lay it at your feet, "Jump to 8

16 conclusion with us, ladies and gentlemen of the jury." But

17 they bring Mr. Vasquez in while they're doubting. He seized

18 the evidence of charcoal lighter fluid on the front porch and

19 itts arson. He admitted that it could have been caused by

20 other things. Now, Mr. Palos testified that he took a dozen

21 samples of material-- carpet, glaBs, wood, tile--from the most

22 suspicious places in the house--the hallway, the northeast

23 bedroom--the moat suspicious places. Mr. Vasquez testified

24 the room was saturated with a combustible liquid. The hallway

25

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the lab and what did they tind? Nothing, not a trace of

2 anything at all except on the very front of the front porch

3 where the charcoal lighter fluid was. Now, Mr. Vasquez says,

4 "But it all burns up; we didn't find it because it all burned

5 up." Well, it didn't all burn up on the front porch, and he's

6 not a chemist. And he's never conducted a test like that.

7 But the scientist, Dr. Armstrong, didn't say anything like

8 that at all. What he testified to was, "We conduct scientific

9 experiments on it; we collect the minutest of fUmes from the

10 substance; and we Checked all of this to the greatest of our

11 scientific ability and there wasn't any." There was none at

12 all.

13

r'd suspect Mr. Vasquez's testimony. Not the least

14 reason is this: The man would not agree with me that it is

15 colder in December than it is in August. He would not do so

16 because he is right; he is never ever wrong. Do you remember

17 when I showed him the picture of the hinge on the front door?

18 You remember he described one of the signs of arson in this

19 case is that the tront door was completely gone. "Mr.

20 Vasquez, was it open or closed? Was it open? Was it inside

21 the burning hallway?" »1 don't know." "Well, let's look at

22 the pictures of the hinge8~ they're open~ aren't they?"

23 "Well, I can't see; 1 can't tell: this i8 taken from an

24 angle." It is obvious he took the picture from the front

25 door. The hinges are obviously swung open, but he won't admit

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it because it doesn't jive with his theory. "Take the burden off, ladies and gentlemen, and lay it at your feet; carry it tor the State. Assume with us; jump to conclusions like we do." That's what they ask you to do in this case. All of this burned debris in the hallway and the person charged with the investigation, Mr. Vasquez, didn't even take time to rake through it with his toe and look at it. What would have happened if he had just gone over there and looked around and found an oil lamp. a broken oil lamp on the floor? He would have said, "I wonder if it contained oil~ I wonder if this is what burned up the house?" He didn't even look at it, just like the charcoal grill. We know, because we have a picture, that the bedroom floor wes covered at one time with all of this burned debris. There was burning debris on the floor, without question. Bvery one of the fire investigators said, and the book -- we read out of the book, the investigator's book -- and Mr. Vasquez agreed that investigators have testified in court, unequivocally, that there was puddle patterns on the floor when there really wasn't. They were caused by something else. Think of the wear on your carpet at home, ladies and gentlemen. This house is 50 years old and has been continuously lived in, as tar as we know, for that length of time. Where is the most heavily-traveled portion ot the home? It's in the front hallway; that's where people come in the door; everybody who comes in the house, unless they go

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to the back door, comes through the front door. What does the carpet look like in front of your front door? It is worn down where people walk in an irregular pattern. It is thinner than everywhere else. Where is the second kost heavily-traveled portion in the home? It is in the living room. It is where the children were sleeping and using as their bedroom--the

7 front room, the living room of the home. Walked on for SO

8 years by we don't know how many people. All of the fire

9 investigators said that thOse areas would burn through quicker

10 and hotter than anywhere else and it can leave a pattern as it

11 an accelerant had been poured on there. And the investigator

12 must be very careful to determine whether that is so. Were

13 they careful here? Fire Marshal Palos took 12 samples; not a

14 single trace of a combustible liquid from anyone of them. He

15 doubts; he doubts.

16 According to the witnesses that we heard, Todd told

17 them that he awoke to his daughter's cries; that the room was

18 filled or filling with smoke and that he put his pants on and

19 escaped down the hall, out the front door. Even Mr. Vasquez

20 told us that he believes the bedroom caught fire first and

21 that there was a period of time during which the bedroom was

22 23

burning but the hallway was not. Todd escapes to the front porch to catch his breath. The smoke in the room, even when

24 the tire was put out, has not blackened the sheets. It has

25

not reached that level. And while he was in the room the

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and what the fire investigators say happens in a house that's

smoke was above him. We can tell that from the photographs

2

3 on fire. But when he goes out through the front door, the

4 hallway catches fire. And Mr. Vasquez told us he thought the

5 hallway was set separately, but he admitted, "Yes, the fire in

6 the bedroom could catch the hallway on fire." What happened

7 when we dropped a match on the combustible liquid on the tile?

8 It went out. We can see, I think, that it takes a great

9 degree of heat and fire to set it on fire, if there is

10 anything on it. And it would particularly be so if there was

11 nothing on it.

12 And then the first witness with the (undecipherable) to

13 see Todd on the front porch, Buffie Barbee and Diane Barbee:

14 and what is he doing? He is on the front porch next to the

15 burning house; and what does he tell the lady? He screams at

16 her that his children are in the house: Meall 911." He asked

17 her to go call the Fire Department and the police because the

18 house was burning. None of the witnesses who ran up to the

19 house at any time thought it was safe for them to go in and

20 try to rescue the children. I don't know what happens to you,

21 to your mental state, when you awake to a house on fire. I

22 have never been there. I have no idea what the reaction is.

23 We know that carbon monoxide poisoning progressively causes

24 greater mental confusion. And witnesses told us that. He

2S breaks out the front window with a pool cue to try to gain

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entry; met with flames. Nobody can get in the house. The

2 firemen can only get in the house after they put water on it

3 and put on air packs. And then sometime during the fire

4 remember, no witness saw flames on the front porch until just

5 before the fire trucks got there. While the house was

6 burning, the heat melts the plastic container with the

7 charcoal lighter fluid and it runs against the house and then

8 it catches on fire, then the witnesses see the fire on the

9 front porch. But they didn't see it until just before the

10 fire trucks got there.

11 Now, Mr. Webb, tbe State's first witness. He comes to

12 us as a trustee in his white suit, baving the run of the jail:

13 having privileges: being able to go outside and to corne

14 inside; being able to take medication for a mental illness and

15 still have the run of the jail. I wondered to myself when I

16 heard him say that he was convicted of aggravated robbery,

17 sentenced to 15 years in the penitentiary. And I looked in

18 the book to see what i8 it that you do? What do you have to

19 do to be sentenced for aggravated robbery? And I find that

20 the law says you commit that offense if you cause serious

21 bodily injury to another person while you're robbing them or

22 that you u.e or exhibit a deadly weapon. And then I looked in

23 the file, Mr. Webb's file; what did he plead guilty to? He

24 pled guilty to robbing 8 lady with a knife and threatening to

25 kill her. An aggravated robber, sentenced to 15 years in the

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penitentiary, and he has the run of the jail. Mr. McNally,

who's in there on a check charge, is locked up day and night.

But Mr. Webb, who i. gaining nothing from his statement, an

aggravated robber, goes and comes pretty much as he pleases;

he has privileges. He is an intormant. His stock and trade

is information fed to the police to maintain his privileges;

because, otherwise, he will be down there in TDC chopping

weeds out of the cotton field with the other aggravated

robbers instead of in an air-conditioned building, with

privileges. So Mr. Webb would have us believe that he goes to

the cell of a man whom he does not know, surrounded by glass.

underneath the police intercom, within earshot -- and we don't

know how many people -- and this guy that he's never even

shook hands with confesses a triple murder to him. How

incredible. What are the odds of that happening? Zero. Is a

person who did it going to confess such a crime to somebody he

doesn't know, surrounded by glass, where everybody can hear

him, with the police intercom right above him? How unlikely.

But why would Mr. Webb tell us a lie? He's a mental patient.

He is on medication for his mental problems. He is a

convicted felon who can't even remember robbing a lady at

knifepoint and threatening to kill her While he took her

purse. But the Prosecution wants you to believe him anyway,

no matter how incredible or unlikely. "Take the burden,

ladies and gentlemen; carry it for us just a little ways."

26

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(BY MR. MARTIN;)

Whatever he said. He said they were rendered unconscious or something; I don't remember. But you can recall it for

"Assume with us" -- assume with us -- "that Mr. Webb is truthful, in spite of all that."

Mr. Webb can come to the cell of any person and write out a statement and Bay, "This man told me that he killed President Kennedy," and sign it and file it and nothing happens to him for his lie because the people he lies about are all locked up, but he has the run of the jail. He's privileged. He threatens to kill women and steal their purse, but he's a trustee because he provides information; he must have it: he's got to have information on somebody about something, to keep from being locked up day and night. The Prosecution wants you to convict Todd based in part on no evidence. The most incredible thing I have ever seen. Mr. Webb has his statement, "Well, the Willinghams killed one of the children before the fire was set." And that's why they asked the doctors, "Well, now Dr. Zamoralt--

MR. JACKSON: I believe I'm going to have to object to that as a misstatement of the evidence, as far as the defendant killed or the wife killed one of the children, Your Honor. I don't believe that's what the evidence showed.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

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yourself. And so the Prosecution asked these doctors, "Well,

now, doctor, you can't tell whether the person was conscious

or unconscious before they died: can you?" "Well, no, I

can't." "Well, there is no evidence, Doctor, that they were

unconscious: is there?" "NOi there is no evidence of that."

The State wants you to carry their burden, ladies and

gentlemen; there is no evidence of it whatsoever. But

disregard that: carry the burden for them.

Carl Jones. The last witness. You saw what respect

and solemnity Mr. Jones had. If you will remember him

yesterday, with the beard and the T-shirt, who came up here

and very flippantly took the oath and jumped in the chair and

said, "Yeah, Todd told me him and Stacy switched urine

samples." What? That's all he said and then he is gone. So

I looked at the records. The records are in evidence. The

record shows that at 17:15 -- these are the notes that the

doctor testified were the records right out of the hospital

"At 17:15" -- 5:15 -- "on the day of the 23rd, the urine

specimen was collected from Todd Willingham." That's what it

says. And the nurse described it: she looked at it. And

then, ladies and gentlemen, almost an hour later after that

the nurse reflects in her notes that the wife arrives in the

room. The man is a liar. He hears a rumor in the community;

people talk: and he comes up here and testifies to it because

he doesn't have to lay his hands on Todd and kill him or send

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him to the pen. He jumps up here and gives his testimony, like Webb, and then he leaves and whatever happens in the

3 aftermath is not his concern. The hospital records reflect

4 that what he said is not so.

S Now, ladies and gentlemen, when I conclude, I can't get

6 back up and respond to anything. This is the last opportunity

7 that I have to talk to you before you retire back there to

8 reach your verdict. The question is, based only on what the

9 State produced--their evidence--can you, without hesitation

10 as if it were your own affair, the law says -- without

11 hesitation vote guilty? If you cannot do so without

12 hesitation, like the witnesses in Moses' law, you cannot vote

13 guilty, because that is the law and that is the standard. And

14 if it is not strictly adhered to in every case, then we'd

15 lose; then it's meaningless. Then the machinery of the State

16 can convict anybody on less than a reasonable doubt. Hold

17 them to the standard. If you cannot vote guilty without

18 hesitation as if it were your own affair, the law and our

19 system of justice direct a finding of not guilty.

20 And we leave it to you.

21 THE COURT: Mr. Jackson.

22 23 24 25

MR. JACKSON: May it please the Court? THE COURT: Yes, sir.

MR. MARTIN: May we approach the bench? THE COURT: Yes, sir.

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(The following discussion was had at the bench and outside the hearing of the jury:)

MR. MARTIN: I don't know what this burned sack

of clothing is doing on the counsel table, but it was not

offered or admitted into evidence, and we request that it be

taken outside the view of the jury.

MR. JACkSON: I am not going to elude to it as a

piece of evidence.

MR. MARTIN: It's setting on the table.

THE COURT: Well, why don't you put it down

underneath the chair?

(The following was within the hearing of all: )

MR. JACKSON: May I proceed, Your Honor?

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

STATE'S CLOSING ARGUMENT

BY MR. JACKSON:

Membere of the jury, the first thing I'd like to do is

to respond to some of the remarks that Mr. Martin has made in

his Closing Argument. And I want you to consider some of the

things that he said in light of the evidence that you heard in

this case. I want you to think about some of the things he

said based on the testimony and the witnesses and the evidence

you saw and heard and examined in this case.

THB COURT: Excuse me just a minute. Let me talk

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THE COURT: Do you want to use it?

to you all.

2

(The following discussion was had at the bench and outside the hearing ot the jury:)

3

4

THE COURT: What's the purpose for the clothes at

5 the counsel table?

6

HR. JACKSON: It's not clothes; it's a -- it's 8

7 Bible. Mr. Martin used a Bible in his Closing Argument; and I

8 intend to use one in mine.

9

THE COURT: Well, if that's what it is, you can

10 go ahead and use it.

11

MR. MARTIN: But that isn't John's Bible; that's

12 somebody else's Bible. That's a burned Bible out of the

13 house. And that's not evidence, and we object to it being

14 used.

15

MR. JACKSON: I'm not going to suggest that it's

16 out of the house.

17

MR. MARTIN: Well. I don't think you'd have to.

18 We object to that as highly improper.

19

THE COURT: What did you say, Mr. Martin?

20

MR. MARTIN: Whatever it is, it's not in

21 evidence; and it's out of the house: and we haven't seen it.

22

THE COURT: But you used one.

23

MR. MARTIN: But it wasn't out of the house.

24 John can use .y Bible.

25

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MR. JACKSON: No: I'll use mine.

THE COURT: Let's proceed, gentlemen.

(After which the following was within the hearing of all:)

(BY MR. JACKSON:)

I want you to consider some things with me, members of the

jury, some things that are important to me about this case, in

light of the things that Mr. Martin told you.

He talked about the Bible. He talked about two

witnesses. He talked about laying hands on a defendant. And

I guess he wants us to go back to some system of justice that

people used 4,000 years ago. Maybe that's what he's

suggesting that we do. Maybe he's suggesting that, if we

don't have an eyewitness to the crime, then you get to get

away with it. Maybe that's what he is suggesting to you,

members of the jury. I'll suggest that's what Mr. Martin did,

but that's not the way the law reads in the state of Texas.

Just because nobody sees you pour the lighter fluid on the

floor of your children's room and set it ablaze, that's not a

reason for a man to walk out of this courtroom today a free

man. And I want you to think about that.

Mr. Martin talked to you about refrigerators. Well,

members of the jury, I don't know what significance the

refrig -- what the significance of refrigerators is two

refrigerators; refrigerators blocking the door, except for one

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I believe him to be a very

thing that I think you'll remember: It points out that the

2 statement Mr. -- Mr. Willingham made to Mrs. Barbee is false.

3 Do you remember what he told her? "I ran out the back ot: the

4 house," Something is wrong here. members of the jury.

5 Something is wrong: and I want you think about that. That's

6 the significance of the refrigerator blocking the back door.

7 And I want you to consider that.

a Mr. Martin talked about Manuel VasQuez, the arson

investigator. And I might add I

9

10 respectable witness. I want you to think about the testimony

11 of Manuel Vasquez in light of what Mr. Martin said in this

12 case, "He hardly ever finds arson." And I think you will

13 remember that's not the testimony in the case. His testimony

14 was that many fires he investigates are arson. But I also

15 want you to remember that he's never called to a fire unless

16 there is a question of arson to begin with. He's the expert;

17 he's the man that's brought in to make a final determination

18 of what happened; that he can read those fires like a book.

19 And every mark is a page in that book to Manuel Vasquez. And

20 I want you to think about that. I guess what Mr. Martin is

21 trying to do -- I know what Mr. Martin is trying to do; he's

22 trying to discredit all -- discredit all witnesses in this

23 case. You know very well what would have happened had not Mr.

24 2S

Vasquez been here. Mr. Martin would have been up in front of you saying, "Golly, gee, they didn't bring you a real expert;"

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"they wanted to rely on the local tolks. and they are just not

34

2 qualified to do this." That's what the argument would have

3 been had Mr. Vasquez not have been here. And I want you to

4 think about that.

5 Members of the jury, David Martin tells you we, the

6 State, want you to carry the burden. We don't want you to

7 carry the burden in this case. The burden is on the State to

8 prove its case to you. What we want you to do, members of the

9 jury, is put the pieces together. And I think, if you

10 consider the evidence in this case, you can see how the pieces

11 fit together.

12 You know, Mr. Martin's case consisted, basically, of

13 parlor tricks, with trays and carpet and lighter fluid.

14 That's not what the state's case consisted of. It was real

15 evidence, members of the jury. And I will go through it with

16 you in a little while so that you can see exactly what the

17 State's case consisted of. Not that I have to tell you; you

18 remember what the State's case is. I think perhaps most

19 offensive to me about this case, members of the jury, is the

20 defendant is still trying to put the blame on the children.

21 Mr. Martin is trying to shift the blame from his client,

22 Cameron Todd Willingham, to a little two-year-old girl whose

23 photographs you saw. And I want you to think about that. You

24 know, you told me you would use your common sense. You told

25 me you would follow your own feelings and experiences in this

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2 Cameron Todd Willingham want you to believe. They want you to

3 believe that this little two-year-old girl somehow got out of

4 her room, over the child's gate, rambled around through the

5 house, found a lamp. went back over the child's gate, into the

6 babies' rOOMS, sprinkled it on the floor in this distinctive

7 cross-type pattern, came out of the room, into the hall,

8 spread it in the hall; somehow got back in, set fire to the

9 floor in the babies' room, came back out, set fire to the

10 floor in the hall, went out on the porch, poured it and set it

11 on -- in some order. And then he wants you to believe,

12 members of the jury -- I want you to think about this -- he

13 wants you to believe that that bottle of lighter fluid got

14 melted by the fire. the fluid inside ran down the porch.

15 somehow jumped across that crack between the concrete porch

16 and the threshold and ran up into the threshold. Think about

17 that. Does that make sense? Is that reasonable? You have

18 the photographs before you, members of the jury, and you can

19 take them into the jury room and you can ask yourself how that

20 lighter fluid runs down to this concrete porch, jumps the

21 crack and goes up into that threshold. I want you to think

22 about that as you consider your verdict in this case. Think

23 about that. Think about how it makes Bense. Think about how

9

10

24 25

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case. And I want you to think about what Mr. Martin and

the fluid in that threshold is not lamp fluid at all. A petroleum distillate, a kerosene base. It's lighter fluid;

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it's not lamp oil. It doesn't make sense, members of the

2 jury. Think about that as you consider the verdict in this

3 case.

4 Mr. Martin talked to you about Cameron Todd

5 Willingham's conduct: and he said, "Gee, I don't really know

6 what he did and maybe he doesn't know what he did either

7 because he was a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning." The

8 problem was he was not a victim of carbon monoxide poison.

9 And the medical records will tell you that and Dr. Shaw told

10 you that yesterday. Do you remember the carbon monoxide level

11 in the defendant's blood? The same as any ordinary smoker --

12 which he is; Mr. Martin told you that -- he told one of the

13 witnesses that. I want you to think about that. He wasn't

14 disoriented. He knew exactly what he was doing when he set

15 that house on fire.

16 Mr. Martin wants to talk about Johnny Webb, a jail

17 inmate in a white suit who came over here and testified before

18 you. Well, members of the jury, what you see is what you get

19 with Johnny Webb. He's a thief; hets a doper; he sits there

20 in a white suit. But he is not a child killer dressed up like

21 a lawyer in front of you in this courtroom. Bad as he is,

22 members of the jury, a man who killed his children offended

23 Johnny Webb and it hurt his conscience. And who knowl better

24 what retribution he may have to bear than Johnny Webb? You

25 heard about that; you know about retribution in the jailhouse

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13 14

to you and me. They don't tell their preachers about this. They don't tell their bankers about it. Most of all. they

and in prison, based on the testimony of Johnny Webb; and he, nevertheless, came forward and told you about that, members of

3 the jury. Yeah, Johnny Webb is a criminal; he's a 22-year-old

4 thief and a drug abuser and a penny-ante robber when he gets

5 high. There's no mistake about what he told about what

6 Cameron Todd Willingham told him in April of this year. You

7 know, that's a -- that's a -- that's a factor that I've been

8 faced with a lot of times. Mr. Martin says, "Why would you

9 believe a person like this?" Why -- why does it -- "it

10 doesn't make sense for something like that to happen."

11 Members of the jury, it makes perfect sense if you think about

12 it. People like the defendant don't confess crimes like this

15 don't tell law enforcement officers about it. They tell other

16 cons about it, other cons who perhaps have medicine that can

17 make them sleep at night. I think you remember that testimony

18 also. You know, Johnny Webb knows what it is to have violent

19 memories that disturb one's sleep. And, members of the jury.

20 I will submit to you that that's the only thing he has in

21 common with Cameron Todd Willingham, who sought his help to

22 gain that medication that would vanish those nightmares from

23 his consciousness. And we can well-imagine, members of the

24 jury, the nightmares that haunt him and the thoughts that

25 haunt him during the day when he thinks about this {displaying

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photograph of child). Or when he thinks about this (displaying photograph of child). Or when he thinks about

3 this (displaying photograph ot child). Members of the jury,

4 you and I cannot begin to imagine the horror and the guilt

5 produced by this. Imeges that the defendant knows he has to

6 take credit for. Members of the jury, I want you to remember

7 those images trom the evidence in this case that are

8 imprinted, not just on the mind of the defendant in this case,

g but on all of us who came in contact with the unspeakable

10 violence of his conduct.

11 Members of the jury, as you consider your verdict in

12 this case, I want you to consider the images that you have

13 Been here in the last few days. I want you to consider the

14 image of Diane Barbee, who burst out of her house when her

15 little girl ran in, shouting about the smoke that sbe smelled

16 Bnd then she saw in the back yard. I want you to think about

17 the image of her testimony, about Cameron Todd Willingham, who

18 according to the evidence, never uttered a cry, never uttered

19 20 21

a word until she burst out her front door after the fire had been burning for some time. She burst out the door and saw that smoking house where she knew three ehildren lived. I

22 want you to i.agine her first sight of Cameron Willingham

23 kneeling on the front porch, crouched in front of his front

24 door as smoke poured out through that door. And imagine her

25 confusion and her dismay, members of the jury, when she asked

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25 Cameron Todd Willingham to go back in that smoking house, where no flames were visible at that time, and rescue his children. I want you to think of the positive action she took. She ran down the street. She ran down the street, yelling at the top of her lungs, and she called the Fire Department. She called 911. Think of the positive action she took back when she -- after she got back from down the street and there were still no visible flames and she saw that Cameron Todd Willingham had not done anything to rescue his children: and she started toward the house. she and her daughter -- her older daughter -- started toward the house to see if they could do something, when the fire flashed and the children's rooms were engulfed in flames. I want you to think of another image, members of the jury; I want you to think of the image of little Buffie Barbee smelling smoke. discounting at first, hearing no cries for help until she raised the cry, herself. She was the first person who raised a cry in this case. Think about the image in her mind, members of the jury, as she watched that smoking house, asking Cameron Todd Willingham to go back in the house and get his babies.

Members of the jury, she was 11 years old. and she knew what was right. She knew what needed to be done. And what did Cameron Todd Willingham do? He took the pool cue and broke out the front window so that fire could get more air; and then he went and pushed his car out of the way so it wouldn't catch

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superficial kind of wounds or injuries on himself. He was

7 problems and squirrels in the attic. I want you to think

8 about that when you consider your verdict in this case. I

9 guess he didn't seem to notice that the back of the house

10 wasn't on fire, not involved at all. I guess he didn't seem

11 to think that there was a child in the same bed that he just

12 left. But I guess he knew it would be too much trouble to try

on fire. I want you to think about that, members of the jury.

Think of the image of Brandy Barbee, the older child, begging. Her testimony was she begged Cameron Todd Willingham to go back in that smoking house and get the babies. And do

you remember what he did, based on the evidence?

Jerry Long,

the witness, told you that he started talking about electrical

to get back in the back of that house because the refrigerator was in the way. I don't know. Think about that. Think about his statement that he came out the back of the house. Does

16 any of this make sense? Did things happen the way David

17 Martin told you? No; members of the jury, they didn't. But,

18 you know, members of the jury, he forgot a lot of those

19 things, too. He forgot to inflict anything but the most

20 21 22 23 24

holding as if he

or hands and arms as if he were burned,

Mrs. Barbee said. Pure affectation. The lies started there with the first person he saw. His arms weren't burned; he had a blister on his finger and a tWo-inch burn on his shoulder;

25 hair was singed a little bit. I want you to think about that.

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He just didn't do a good enough job to cover up, members of

2 the jury. Cameron Todd Willingham wanted someone to believe

3 that he had a serious burn, a serious injury: and then it

4 turned out to be like a sunburn on his face. He wanted people

5 to believe he was awakened at the last minute, in a

6 smoke-filled house, that he was overcome with smoke from

7 searching tor the babies. And you remember what the carbon

8 monoxide content of his blood was. 1 believe the doctor said

9 it was really less than that of -- of a normal smoker. Think

10 about that. I asked the witnesses, "Was he coughing?" "NOi

11 not really." You heard Manuel Vasquez talk about what it is

12 to be over -- overcome by smoke, suffer smoke in --

13 inhalation. He used very graphic terms to describe what smoke

14 inhalation is like. And those terms don't fit the defendant,

15 Cameron Todd Willingham. You know, the type of burns that

16 showed up on this defendant, they tell a little bit about the

17 kind of person he is. Cameron Todd Willingham is a coward.

18 He couldn't aven inflict substantial burns on himself to make

19 himself look good. I want you to think about that when you

20 consider your verdict in this case.

21 You know, just as important in this case as the

22 inconsistencies of what Mr. Hartin wants us to believe are the

23 strange little -- little psychological bits, factors that we

24 have to consider in light of tha evidence, members of the

25

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about that when you con.ider your verdict in this case.

42

Ron Franks is a Corsicana firefighter who risked his

2

life to go into a burning house out there on 11th Avenue to

__ ., __ 0, .• . _. •• _. _

3 look for those children. Member. of the jury, he told you, on

4 Tuesday, how he went to the fire scene after the funeral,

5 right atter the children's funeral on the 27th. Well, the

6 defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham, showed up out there about

7 the same time. And he starts asking questions about the

8 origin of fires, about what the investigators had found.

9 Minutes after his children had been buried. But his conduct,

10 members of the jury, is so transparent that it shoeks us when

11 we think about it. Nobody ever accused him of being smart.

12 It's so transparent that it -- it almost makes us sick to our

13 stomachs. He told the firefighter, Franks, when they were

14 walking through the burning remains of the home, the

15 children's room, "Oh, yeah, if you guys take any more samples

16 out here, then you'll probably lind that stuff I poured on the

17 floor in the hall and the children's room because the children

18 liked it so much." Why didn't he go in there and pour it on

19 the bed where his two-year-old daughter was found dead?

20 Because he knew where he had poured that accelerant and he was

21 trying to mess up any samples that the Police Department or

22 the investigators might take. What do you make of conduct

23 like that? 008S that make sense to you? Does that comport

24 with your common sense? No, it does not. I want you to think

25

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Do you remember, instead of the incredible grief that any

I want you to think about something else that seems

2 small and trivial and perhaps inconsequential, except when you

3 think of it in the context of the -- of the evidence in this

4 case and human behavior. An hour after the funeral, do you

5 remember what Cameron Todd Willingham was most concerned about

6 when he went back in the burned house, other than telling the

7 fire fighters that the samples probably wouldn't be any good,

8 it would show up whatever cologne he'd poured on the floor?

9 Do you remember what he was talking about? He said,

10 somebody -- ".omebody has stolen my darts and dart board."

11 That shows his level of care, his level of concern for his

12 children. That's just a little factor I want you to file away

13 somewhere in the back of your mind in this case. I want you

14 think about that. Do you remember another thing that the

15 defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham, was concerned about? He

16 was concerned about the TV crew. He was concerned whether his

17 friends and family in Oklahoma could see him on TV. He was

18 normal before the crew got there; when they took his picture,

19 he worked up some tears, and then he was normal when it was

20 over. Do you remember about his conduct the day after the

21 fire? A party and a radio going over there, till they saw

22 people looking at them and then they calmed back down. They

23 tried to act like they thought they were supposed to act. I

24 want you to tile that away in the back of your memory, too.

25

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3 his children were -- were killed? "Don't worry about them:

4 they are walking in the hands of the Lord." You know, that

parent would show in so overwhelming a loss, do you remember what Cameron Todd Willingham told Brandy Barbee the day atter

5

makes my

my stomach knot up. People don't talk about that

6 after their children have been destroyed in a fire. I want

7 you to think about that, members of the jury. It's these

8 little bits and pieces that we put on Tuesday; and perhaps it

9 was borinq to you; perhaps you thouqht it was inconsequential.

10 But we did it for a purpose, members of the jury; we wanted

11 you to hear these little bits and pieces that corroborate what

12 the other witnesses said. They corroborate the testimony of

13 14

Johnny Webb. They corroborate the testimony of Manuel Vasquez. I'll submit to you that any -- that either of that

15 testimony, standing alone, is SUfficient and conclusive and it

16 shows you that this defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham,

17 committed the crime he is charged with. The other is -- is

18 window-dressing. It fits in: it corroborates; it strengthens

19 the State's case. I want you to think about how all those

20 little factors fit together. You have seen the

21 inconsistencies ot Cameron Todd Willingham's statements, his

22 behavior, his lack of injuries, the fabrication, the bizarre

23 conduct. And then, members of the jury, you saw Manuel

24 vasquez's testimony. You saw the photographs; and you heard

2S how he poured that liquid in the children's room. You saw how

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Africa, Nicaragua, or Yugoslavia. And, you know, sometimes

he poured it in the hall. You saw how he poured it along the

front of the house. Do you remember what Manuel Vasquez told

3 you about fire evidence? He said that, "Fire doesn't lie~

4 only people lie: fire doesn't destroy evidence: it creates

5 evidence." And, members of the jury, as I told you before, it

6 created evidence that he could read like a book. And, members

7 of the jury, every page of that book tells us the same thing.

8 That this fire was set in a hurry to kill these children. The

9 puddle patterns in the floor, they're silent reminders of a

10 stupid and a reprehensible criminal act that was conceived in

11 hate and conceived in desperation and seltishness. The liquid

12 is gone, except the threshold; it burned away in that

13 destructive madness created by Cameron Todd Willingham. But

14 it left its mark. It left its mark, members of the jury.

15 When you look at these patterns, this is Cameron Todd

16 Willingham's confession of the crime burned into every puddle

17 in the floor of that house. It's burned into the floor of

18 that house on 11th Avenue. And it's burned into our memories,

19 too.

20 You know, members of the jury, here in -- in Navarro

21 County, we live in a relatively sate environment. It's a

22 relatively protected environment. We don't see the madne ••

23 and the -- and the violence that seems to haunt people,

24 children in particular, throughout the world; whether it's

25

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and one of these monsters sits in this courtroom here today,

there's a drawback to that. A drawback is when we're faced with a situation like this. When we're faced with horrifying

3 violence, apparently senseless to rational people, like I

4 talked to you about on Voir Dire. Sometimes we recoil from

5 it. We condition ourselves. It's almost like a defense

6 mechanism, members ot the jury, to believe things like this

7 just don't happen here in Navarro County. And we can't allow

8 ourselves to believe that -- that horror sometimes walks among

9 us. But, members of the jury, I'm here to tell you that

10 horror does walk among us sometimes. You know, we tell our

11 children that monsters don't exist, that they are only shadows

12 on the wall. Well, members of the jury, monsters do exist;

13

14 and his name is Cameron Todd Willingham.

15 And, members of the jury, you get to make a decision

16 bere today; you get to determine whether, in the face of the

17 confession and in the face ot evidence that corroborates it,

18 and in the face of the unequivocal testimony ot Manuel

19 Vasquez, you will put Cameron Todd Willingham back on the

20 streets of Navarro County. And, members of the jury, make no

21 mistake: you have the power to do that, if you so choose. But

22 members of the jury, if you do choose to do that, you've got

23 to make another decision. You've got to be prepared to greet

24 25

him on the street, stand in line with him at Brookshire's, sit with him at the next table at McDonald's or Roy's Cafe.

46

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That's a decision you have to make if you elect to turn this

2 defendant loose.

Well, members of the jury, if I

if I could get down

3

4 on my knees and beg you, I would do it if I thought it would

5 do any good. I beg you to rind cameron Todd Willingham guilty

6 of the offense ot capital murder. That's why I'm pleading

7 with you now, to do what the evidence requires in the case,

8 members of the jury.

9 I want to mention something else to you before I close.

10 One of these photographs--State's Exhibit 22--shows some of

11 the decorations of Cameron Willingham's house. They are

12 violent images that he's pasted on the walls. And only the

13 top of one of the posters is visible in this exhibit, and it

14 bears the words, "Can I play with madness?" Members of the

15 jury, Cameron Todd Willingham has played with madness in this

16 case. And he wants you to play with madness by turning him

17 loose back into this community. Members of the jury, don't

18 don't play with madness in this case.

19 If I can leave you -- let me say one thing before

20

you

you consider your jury verdict in this case. There are

21 two verdict forms, and they relate to the Indictment in this

22 ca.B. Mr. Willingham is indicted two ways. One is for

23 killing three children; one is tor killing two children. You

24 can find him guilty either way, baaed on the evidence and the

Charge. r submit to you that you must find him guilty of

25

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THE COURT: Members of the jury panel you will be

killing three children. Because he killed them just as surely

2

as you and I sit here today in this courtroom.

3

The last thought I want to leave you with is one that

4 was inspired by Mr. Martin in his Argument. He talked about

5 Biblical considerations. I want to talk to you about Biblical

6 considerations, too. Members of the jury, if we could turn to

7 the second (sic) chapter of Matthew in this Bible, we could

8 read the words of Jesus. And if you'll remember what those

9 words say, I think you'll know what's required of you in this

10 case. He said, "Whomsoever shall harm one of my children,

11 it's better tor a millstone to be hung around his neck and for

12 him to be cast in the sea and drowned." Your verdict is

13 clear, members of the jury, you must turn to the last page of

14 the verdict sheet and answer the top form, "We, the jury, find

15 the defendant guilty of the offense of capital murder." I

16 read the Indictment to you at the first of this case. It

17 ended with the words, perhaps inconse -- inconsequential

18 words, about the peace and the dignity of the State. Please

19 lend peace and dignity to this proceeding. Please find

20 Cameron Todd Willingham guilty of the crime he committed.

21 Thank you.

22

23 escorted to your deliberating room, where you will elect you a

24 foreman and arrive at your verdict.

2S

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Bde J. swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th District Court

2

(The jury entered the jury room at approximately 10:25 a.m. to begin deliberations.)

3

THE COURT: This court will be in recess until

4 the

5 jury returns with a verdict.

6 (The following occurred immediately prior to the jury entering the courtroom with a

7 verdict:)

8

THE COURT: So that everyone in the audience

9 understands, there will be no conversation, regardless of what

10 the verdict iB~ okay? If there is any outburst by anyone, the

11 persons making the outburst will be escorted outside the

12 courtroom and will not be allowed back in the courtroom.

13

Bring the panel in.

14

(The jury entered the courtroom with the following verdict at approximately 11:42

15

a.m. :)

16

THE COURT: Okay, members of tbe jury panel. have

17 you reached a verdict?

18

FOREPERSON: Yes, sir; we have.

19

THE COURT: Would you pass it to the bailiff,

20 please?

21 JURY VERDICT

22 READ BY THE COURT:

23

"We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of the offense

24 of capital murder." Verdict -- this is with reference to the

25 three individuals -- form signed No.1.

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THE COURT: Members of the jury panel, we're

50

7 8

MR. MARTIN: May we, Your Honor? THB COURT: Yes, sir.

9 JUR.Y PANEL POLLEn

10 THB COURT: Members of the jury panel, the

11 question that I ask you is: Is this your verdict? And just

12 answer "Yes" or "no~" and I'm going to call just last name

13 only.

2 going to be in recess until 1:15, and we will start the

3 Punishment Phase of this case.

4 I want everyone to remain in the courtroom until such

5 time as the jury panel is outside the courtroom.

6 Excuse me just a minute; did you want the panel polled?

Q.

Harris? For it.

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

A.

THE COURT: Just "yes" or "no."

A.

Yes.

Okay. Dunbar? Yes.

Holmes?

Yes.

Formby?

Yes.

watson?

Yes.

Q. A. Q. A. O. A. Q. A.

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Cook?

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16 time.

A.

Yes.

O. Martin?

A. Yes.

Q. Roper?

A. Yes.

O. Dechaume?

A. Yes.

O. Holloway?

A. Yes.

o. Horse?

A. Yes.

O. And Ponder?

A.

Ves.

THE COURT: Okay. Now you all may leave at this

17 (The jury departed courtroom and the following occurred:)

18

19

MR. BRISTOL: Your Honor, can we get him out of

20 here before--

21

THE COURT: I want everyone to remain in the

22 courtroom until the defendant is outside the courtroom, also.

23

MR. DUNN: Your Honor, we -- we need to talk to

~4 the defendant about the preparation for this evidence this

25

afternoon.

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"'___"__-- -- -- --- _. - - - - --- ._. -- _ ... _- - -_'---- -.... ---- .. _ - - -- ... -._ - - --- .. -_ -- - - - .. -

THE COURT: Okay; I'll tell you what--

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(The following was made of record at the bench and outside the hearing of others:)

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THE COURT: --why don't I just let everybody go--

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MR. DUNN: Okay.

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THE COURT: --and leave the courtroom at this

7 time?

8 (After which the tollowing occurred:)

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THE COURT: Okay, everyone can go outside the

10 courtroom at this time.

11 (Bveryone exited the courtroom and lunch recess was had; and at approximately 1:15

12 p.m. the following occurred:)

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THB COURT: Bring the panel in, Bill.

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(Conclusion of vol. XIII, at lunch hour on August 20, 1992, resuming in Volume XIV on the afternoon of August 20, 1992, with Punishment Phase.)

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Bde J. Swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th District Court

9036543088 I

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NAVARRO CO DIST. CLER

02:41:12p.m. 08-24-2010

55/55

1

Certificate Expires: 12/31/92

THB STATE OF TEXAS COUNTY OF NAVARRO

* *

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3 I, Ede J. Swain, Official Court Reporter in and for the

4 Thirteenth JUdicial District Court of Navarro County, State of

5 Texas, do hereby certify that the above and foreqoing contains

6 a true and correct transcription of all morning proceedings

7 had on August 20, 1992, in the above-styled and numbered

8 cause, all of which occurred in open court and were reported

9 by me.

10 I fUrther certify that this transcription of the record

11 of the proceedings truly and correctly reflects the exhibits,

12 if any, offered by the respective parties.

13

WITNESS my hand

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Ede J wain, Thirteenth Judic~al District Court P. O. Box 333

Corsicana, Texas 75151-0333 (903) 654-3022

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22 Taxable Cost: $146.50 (Orig. & 1 Copy) to be paid by Navarro County, Texas, due to indigency of defendant «53 pgs. at $2.50

23 ea., 1 index pg., at S10, 2 bindings at $2 ea.'.

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Ede J. Swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th District Court

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