'.' .


.. ~ ..


... ", . -t -


,.. ' .. ,

. ' .. ,.. .. ·rl

" ,.~.

NO. 00-00-24467-CR









VOLUME XV of ~ Volumes




Mr. Jon H. Jackson and Mr. Alan J. Bristol

First ssistant District Attorney Assistant District Attorney

Navarr, County, Texas Navarro County, Texas

300 W.Third Avenue, 2nd Floor 300 W. Third Ave., 2nd FIr.

Corsicna, Texas 75110 Corsicana, Texas 75110

For the State of Texas;

Mr. Daud H. Martin Mr. Robert C. Dunn

Attorn~ at Law and Attorney at Law

DAWSON, SODD, MOE & MARTIN 115 W. Collin Street

800 Fe~is Avenue, suite 200 cor~~~~ ~xas 75110

Waxahachie, Texas 75165 At~L4 S O'CIOCk~ M

For the Defendant. MA~!I V",~qr-I=R --

_______ . rly~~;r~~~~rL~-~---

On the 21st day of August, 1992, th.iiarlStW~'laIi6alli!rre!_t!f~d cause came on to be heard for trial in the said Court, Honorable Kenneth A. "Buck" Douglas, Judge Presiding, and the following proceedings were had, to wit:

Ede J. Swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th D1str1ct l,;ourr.

._-_ -- --- _. __ . - _--_ -- '-_ .~ -- _- _-_ --- -._- ~_._-_. __ ._~ ..... - _-'


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


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



COURT READS COURT'S CHARGE TO JURY----------------------- 3


DEFENSE'S ARGUMENT BY MR. DUNN--------------------------- 7

STATE'S ARGUMENT BY MR. JACKSON-------------------------- 14 DELIBERATIONS BEGUN BY JURY------------------------------ 24 JURY NOTE NO. 1 RECEIVED AND WRITTEN ANSWER RETURNED----- 24 JURY NOTE NO. 2 RECEIVED AND WRITTEN ANSWER RETURNED----- 25 JURY VERDICT AND JURY POLLED----------------------------- 26 JURORS INSTRUCTED AND DISMISSED BY THE COURT------------- 27 FORMAL SENTENCING---------------------------------------- 28 TRIAL CONCLUDED------------------------------------------ 29 REPORTER'S CERTIFICATE----------------------------------- 30



.,~ .... ~~ '--' _...:._._. -- -' - - _ ---'--.~ .... ~--- _ -- _. ," .


- - ......


THE COURT: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Okay; with reference to the Charge,


Mr. Dunn, do you have some objections and some requests?


MR. DUNN: Yes, Your Honor.



6 We have filed with the Court formal objections to the

7 Charge, as presented.


We believe it is multifarious in nature. We believe

9 that it does -- it misplaces the burden of proof in this case.

10 And the other items that are noted in the objection to the

11 Charge, we ask the Court to consider. They are too numerous

12 to enumerate one at a time for this record. And we ask the

13 Court to grant those objections.


THE COURT: That is

that request is denied,

15 overruled, whichever is in order.



MR. DUNN: Your Honor, in regard to the request

18 to include the instruction of the jUry the parole law, under

19 Article 37.07, Code of Criminal Procedure, as applied by 4218,

20 we ask the Court to consider that and to let the jury know by

21 its Charge that the minimum requirement of a life sentence is

22 35 calendar years, if a life sentence is assessed by the jury.


THE COURT: And that request is denied.


MR. DUNN: Note our exception, Your Honor.


---.-.--------~--------. --_._-_.-. __ .--_. __ .

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





.. _ .. --.---.-~----------


MR. JACKSON: Do you want me to go make one real

THE COURT: Bring the panel in, Bill.


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



THE COURT: Okay; the jury panel is back in

5 place.

6 Members of the jury panel, I will now read the Court's

7 Charge to you.


9 By your verdict in this case, you have found the

10 defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham, guilty of the offense of

11 capital murder, as charged in the Indictment. It is necessary

12 now for you to determine from all of the evidence in the case


answers to certain questions called "Special Issues."


MR. DUNN: Your Honor, may we approach the bench?


THE COURT: Yes, sir.


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


MR. MARTIN: Let us have a copy of the Charge.

THE COURT: Do what?


MR. MARTIN: Let us have a copy of the Charge.


MR. JACKSON: I ran off and left my copy

22 somewhere.



MR. DUNN: And I did, too.

25 quick, Judge?

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



_. --- -.- -----~---,..._---




MR. MARTIN: Perhaps we better have one before.
MR. JACKSON: I'll be right back; okay?
THE COURT: Excuse me just a minute.
MR. JACKSON: They may be in there.
(The following was within the hearing of
all: ) 3





THE COURT: Are there some on the air

conditioning deal back there?

We're missing some copies,


9 because they've gone to make some copies.


Do you want to get Alan, because he's got my copy? I'm

11 going to start back over at the beginning and read the Charge

12 in its entirety at this time.


14 By your verdict in this case you have found the

15 defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham, guilty of the offense of

16 capital murder, as charged in the Indictment. It is necessary

17 now for you to determine from all of the evidence in the case

18 the answer to certain questions called "Special Issues."

19 Our low provides that the punishment for the offense of

20 capital murder in this state is death, or by confinement in

21 the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of

22 Corrections of Criminal Justice, for life.

23 You're instructed that you may consider all of the

24 evidence submitted to you in the full trial of this cause.

25 That is all of the evidence submitted before you in the trial

Ede J. Swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th Distric~ Court

-------------- ---


1 --

1 2

of the first part of the case, wherein you are called upon to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant and in the

3 second part of the trial, where you're called upon to answer

4 Special Issues.

5 It is up to the jury to determine the weight and the

6 credibility of the evidence, if any, and it's bearing, if any,

7 to the Special Issues being considered by the jury.

8 The burden of proof is on the State to prove each

9 Special Issue submitted to you beyond a reasonable doubt.

10 You're instructed that, in deliberating on Special

11 Issue No.1, you sball consider all evidence admitted at the

12 Guilt or Innocence Stage and the Punishment Stage, including


evidence of the defendant's background or character or the

14 circumstances of the offense that militates for or mitigates

15 against the imposition of the death penalty. You're

16 instructed that you may not answer Special Issue No. 1 "yes"

17 unless you agree unanimously, and you may not answer it "no"

18 unless 10 or more jurors agree. The members of the jury need

19 not agree on what particular evidence supports a negative

20 answer to Special Issue No.1. You're -- You are instructed

21 that, if you answer Special Issue No.1 in the affirmative,

22 then you will proceed to answer Special Issue No.2.

23 You're instructed that you may not answer Special Issue

24 25

No. 2 "no" unless you agree unanimously and you may not answer it "yes" unless 10 or more jurors agree. You need not agree

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


1 ~

1 2 3

on any -- on what particular evidence supports an affirmative finding on Special Issue No.2. You shall consider mitigating evidence to be evidence that you might regard as reducing the

4 defendant's moral blameworthiness. If the jury returns an

5 affirmative finding on Special Issue No. 1 and a negative

6 finding on Special Issue No.2, the Court will sentence the

7 defendant to death. If the jury returns a negative finding on

8 Special Issue No. 1 or an affirmative finding on Special Issue

9 No.2, the Court will sentence the defendant to confinement in

10 the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal

11 Justice for, life.

12 Our law provides that a defendant may testify in his

13 own behalf if he elects so to do. This, however, is a

14 privilege accorded a defendant; and in the event he elects not

15 to testify, that fact cannot be taken as a circumstance

16 against him.

17 In this case, the defendant has elected not to testify,

18 and you are instructed that you cannot and must not refer or

19 elude to that fact throughout your deliberations or take it

20 into consideration for any purpose whatsoever as a

21 circumstance against him.

22 Under the instructions herein given you, it will not be

23 proper for you, in determining answers to the foregoing

24 issues, to answer the same by lot, chance, average, or any

25 other method than by a full, fair and free exercise of the


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

._-._._- ... _-. -_._--_._- _.--~.--- ------- -.-.~-- .. ---.- .. -.-------


1 2

opinion of the individual jurors, under the evidence submitted to you.

3 You are the exclusive judges of the facts proved, of

4 the credibility of the witnesses, and of the weight to be

5 given the testimony. But you're bound to receive the law from

6 the Court, which is herein given you, and be governed thereby.

7 8

THE COURT: Does the State care to be heard?

MR. JACKSON: The state waives its right to Open,

9 and we reserve the right to close, Your Honor.

10 11 12 13 14 15

THE COURT: Mr. Dunn. MR. DUNN: Your Honor.

THE COURT: Forty-five, at the most. MR. DUNN: Thank you, Your Honor.



16 Members of the jury, I have not addressed you yet. I

17 want to thank you very much on my behalf, as Court-appointed

18 counsel for the defendant, for your attention -- intentions in

19 this case. And I hope that your intentions that you expressed

20 to us when we took you as a jurorman are upheld.

21 Throughout this case, I've notice that each of you have

22 been very attentive; and I believe, by your answers to the

23 determination of guilt in this case, that you were permitted

24 to your opinion. Now -- and I regretfully tell you this is

25 the hard part of the case.

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



1 2 3

You people, on one side of this, are to be the conscience of the community. Mr. Jackson will tell you that you are "they." You are the people that they're going to

4 talk about in the coffee shops when they say, why don't "they"

5 do something? Well, you know, we've all been guilty of that,

6 and we've all made statements. I know, myself, probably worse

7 than you, make statements about why doesn't this change? Or

8 why isn't this done? When I don't have any idea of the

9 gravity, the responsibility and the conditions that make up

10 the decision that I disagreed with. So I want you to

11 understand that, when Mr. Jackson makes this argument, it is

12 almost a tradition with the State's Attorney's Office to say

13 that type of thing. That he, like myself, is a practitioner

14 of this, what we call a "practice of the law."


He tries his case as I try my case. For 20 years I

16 have addressed juries, and I tried, in my address, to say

17 things that would awaken emotions, would create feelings, and

18 that would stir responses, depending on the case, that might

19 overshadow the deficiencies of my case, by these responses and

20 the actions of the jurors, or accent parts of my case. Now, I

21 want you to understand that just because Mr. Jackson sits on

22 this side of the courtroom and he addresses you as if he was

23 the wearer of a white hat and is on the side of justice and

24 25

right, that he is just a lawyer; and because Mr. Martin and I sit on that side of the table and we are Court-appointed


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

---------------.-. __ .. _ ....


1 2

counsel, neither one of us do less than our very best. And in order to do our very best, we're going to punch every button

3 that experience, learning and practice has taught us to make

4 you people respond for the benefit of our client, both for the

5 State of Texas and/or for the defendant. Now, I want you to

6 understand, with all of that out of the way, that this is, and

7 the law calls it, "Argument." I guess it is argument for our

8 way of thinking. But I am not going to argue with the basis

9 of what we're here for today. We are here to do the

10 impossible. We're here for you people to be exposed to this

11 whole case and our own theory of it, and then we're going turn

12 you back in that jury room, and we're going to ask you to do


something that mayor may not haunt you for the next 10 years.

14 We're going to ask you sometime today to make a decision that

15 every time the news comes on and it says, "An inmate was put

16 to death in the Texas Department of Corrections," you're going

17 to put down the toothbrush, "was that Willingham?" It's a

18 hard choice; it's a hard deal. That's the reason we spent six

19 days talking to almost sixty jurors and that's the reason that

20 you people are here. The District Attorney says, "This juror

21 is acceptable to the State" and the defendant said, "this

22 juror is acceptable to the defendant." So for 12 times we

23 agreed to create a terrible burden on each of you individuals.

24 25

Now, when you determine the issues in this case, you are given five simple sheets of regular-sized paper. In them,


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


1 2 3

through your foreman, you must determine a brand new deal.

You are aided by the instruction, with all of the facts that you've heard at the regular trial of this case, and all of the

4 facts in evidence that you heard yesterday at the Punishment

5 Phase of this hearing. But, ultimately, you must agree

6 unanimously--all 12 of you--to answer certain questions that

7 will cause the death -- the death by injection of this young

8 man, or 10 of you must agree to answer the questions according

9 to the instructions that will assess a life sentence.

10 Personally, I want to apologize for being a part of putting

11 you people in that position. I try cases, and have for the

12 last 20 years, and sometimes what I have done haunts me. And

13 sometimes I wonder, "Did I do right?" And sometimes I wonder,

14 "What's happened to those people?" But you know it's -- it's

15 done, and I can't undo it.

16 Remember, when you consider the first issue: Do you

17 find from the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt there is a

18 probability that the defendant would commit criminal acts of

19 violence that would constitute a continuing treat to society?

20 Remember the definition of reasonable doubt. It was defined

21 in the original Charge; and it is "that doubt based upon

22 reason and common sense, after a careful and impartial

23 consideration of all the evidence in the case. It is the kind

24 of doubt that would make a reasonable person hesitate to act

25 in the most important of his own affairs." Proof beyond a


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

-.---_ •• __ - - __ • __ n_' • ._

1 2

reasonable doubt, therefore, must be the proof of such a convincing character that you would be willing to rely and act

3 upon it without hesitation in your -- and the most important

4 of -- your own affairs.

5 Now, Mr. Jackson is going to tell you that the sheer

6 horrible nature of this offense would make anyone believe that

7 this person would commit further acts of violence. The

8 offense is arson. How quick in your own lives do you recall a

9 fire getting away from you? That's an elementary thing that I

10 think we have all seen. It is not elementary that three

11 children died. But is that act, itself, one of such gravity

12 that would indicate a continuing threat to society? I do not

13 think, I do not think, I do not think that the evidence, by

14 the offense, itself, can allow you unanimouslY to answer

15 "yes." Now, Mr. Jackson is going to say, "Well, this man has

16 had a horrible life of crime. He's a petty thief." He's

17 going to say, "We brought all of the policemen here to say he

18 had a bad reputation, that he threatens people." But you

19 didn't see the person that had been threatened. That that

20 guy didn't come. And we had a fellow that's a -- raises

21 fighting dogs, and he says he was told the defendant killed a

22 dog. Mr. Jackson is going to say the defendant's violent

23 because he beats his wife. Well, the wife didn't say that.

24 Members of the jury, as we talked to you originally

25 when you were selected, you were to determine only the

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


1 2

evidence that came from that chair, not the innuendos, not the references, not the general allegation, but the evidence.


3 They didn't bring you the evidence; they brought you shorthand

4 renderings; they brought you general statements. Members of

5 the jury, there 1s not enough evidence here for you to answer

6 this question in any other way but by the bottom verdict form

7 "no. "

8 Special Issue No. 2 addresses a new charge in our law

9 which states: "Do you find, taking into consideration all of

10 the evidence, including the circumstances of the offense, the

11 defendant's character and background and the personal moral

12 culpability of the defendant, there is a sufficient mitigating

13 circumstance or circumstances to warrant that a sentence of

14 life imprisonment, rather than a death sentence, be imposed?

15 Members of the jury, when you view this, I want you to

16 understand that we have brought this man's family; and we had

17 a host of relatives and families, and they are not the most

18 educated, the most articulate, or the most knowing, but they

19 are the man's family. And if a man's family won't come and

20 stand up for him at a trial, and if a man's family won't speak

21 good for him, who will? The neighbors, the rest of the world

22 don't want to get involved. The policemen come because that's

23 their job. And they testify for the State. Now, they said

24 they know Todd Willingham and that he loved those children and

25 that he is a good man. He's had some trouble with the law;

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


4 what disgusts us all, it's because of the booze; it's not that

5 he's a bad person. It's the devil that has controlled him,

6 that he can't control. Those are mitigating factors. No one

7 has ever informed you people; no one has ever defined what

10 that he had trouble understanding or complying with or being

11 part of the drug rehabilitation attempts that have been made.

12 You know, we fail in life, unintentionally many times, because

13 we can't keep up, we can't appreciate, we can't use the help

14 that is given to us. Those are failures. It's not a failure

17 mitigation.

19 whole thing is tragic. But if you jurors are herded into a

20 "yes" and a "no," as the State's going to ask you to do, are

21 you helping the situation, or are you compounding the tragedy?

22 Mr. Jackson is going to ask an eye for an eye. The children's

23 mother asked for the defendant's life. You women know the

24 feelings of a mother. You men, as myself, will never

25 understand how deep it is. But if the mother of these

1 2 3

8 9

15 16


he's a drug abuser. Most of his problems with the law have been caused because of the sniffing of paint. Let me ask you this: In your own experience, the alcoholic, when he does

mitigating factor is. The probation officer, Mrs. Goolsby, stated that she believed that Todd had not developed mentally,

intentionally in most situations. It is because of some circumstance, which I believe should be considered in

You know, this situation is tragic. The whole -- the


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


1 2

children asks for this man's life, don't you feel, don't you believe that there are mitigating circumstances that only

3 those know?

4 Members of the jury, we ask you to answer the bottom

5 form "yes."

6 Thank you.

7 THE COURT: Mr. Jackson.



10 Members of the jury, I want to thank you again for your

11 attention, for your service in this case. This has been a

12 long and a disturbing case in many ways. We have corne almost


to the end of it.

14 I want to begin my closing remarks by responding to

lS some of the things that Mr. Dunn said in his Closing Summation

16 or Argument. I think they deserve some responses from me.

17 Perhaps you don't need to hear the responses, but I'll give

18 them to you, anyway.

19 And I think you will remember that Mr. Dunn said what

20 we do, we do on the behalf of our clients. And I'm certainly

21 not ashamed of that. I am not ashamed to represent the people

22 of the State of Texas. And I want you to think about that; I

23 want you to think about who I represent in this case. Mr.

24 25

Dunn apologizes to you because he said he hated to be a party to putting you through these hard decisions, these tough

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



1 2

apologize for any verdict you may -- may

may render in this

decisions, a difficult process. Well, members of the jury, you have a tough job to do, but I'm not going to apologize to

3 you for being here. I am not going to apologize for bringing

4 the facts of this case to you, no more than I expect you to


6 case or return in this case. And I want you to think about

7 that.

8 Mr. DUnn said this is an offense of arson. Members of

9 the jury, this is not an arson; this is a murder. We only

10 have to look at the photographs of these children, destroyed

11 in flames in the house on 11th Avenue to know we don't speak

12 here of an arson case; we speak of a triple murder that you

13 have found this defendant guilty of. And I want you to keep

14 that in mind.

15 Mr. Dunn said the State talked about threats but they

16 didn't bring you anybody who told you about threats. Well,

17 the first witness in this case was Johnny Webb. And he told

18 you about the threat of death within the past few weeks that

19 that defendant, Todd Willingham, had made against him in jail

20 when he found he intended to come across the street and

21 testify and tell the truth. And I want you to consider that

22 also as you consider your verdict on the punishment in this

23 case.

24 Mr. Dunn said somebody came and told you that they

25 heard that Todd Willingham killed a dog. They sure did.

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

--~ .. ---


,----------- ...




Randy Petty says that he bragged about killing the dog and


about beating the dog until he couldn't beat it any more and

3 ran over it and killed it, finally. Words from the

4 defendant's mouth, according to Randy Petty.

5 Mr. Dunn talked about the family that came here and put

6 on that string of incredible testimony yesterday, about what

7 they believed and what they didnlt believe and how it didn't

8 make any difference, anyway, whether they knew it or not, Todd

9 Willingham is really a good guy and you need to spare his

10 life. Members of the jury, I would hope that if I were

11 accused of a crime like that, my family would come up and ask

12 that my life be spared, but it doesn't have anything to do


with reality, members of the jury.


Mr. Dunn asked you, "Who else was involved?" Well,

15 nearly the whole world was involved in coming up here and

16 talking about the behavior and the conduct of Cameron Todd

17 Willingham. He said, "Where were the neighbors?" IIll tell

18 you where the neighbors were; they were here on that witness

19 stand. Hank Bailey was there; he told you about the violence

20 that he had seen and heard at the house on 11th AVenue here in

21 Corsicana. Karen King, a neighbor and a friend of Stacy

22 Willingham, came and told you about the violence. Kim King

23 told you about the violence, told you about the character of

Came~on Todd Willingham, who had agreed to swap a VCR for his


25 daughter's custody. I want you to think about those things.

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




1 2 3 4

that's the game we play

I want you to think about Randy Petty, who told you about this defe~dant beating a dog to death and running over it with a car. I want you to think about that. Mr. Dunn says, "Think about that paint sniffing addiction; it's like the alcoholic,

5 it's not the man, it's the booze." Well, I guess that's --

6 that's what we expect in the world we live in now; it's never

7 anybody's fault; if we mess up, it's not our fault: shift the


blame to somebody else. That's

9 nowadays and I hope you won't fall prey to that fallacy.

10 Members of the jury, please don't do that. Because there is

11 only one person on whom the blame must fall in this case and

12 13 14 15

that's squarely on the shoulders of that defendant, Cameron Todd Willingham, that you found guilty of the offense of capital murder of his three children.

You know, this case is disturbing, I guess, because the


16 facts are so shocking and so contrary to our own values that

17 we tend to block these things out of our mind sometimes. I

18 mentioned that to you in my Argument on the Guilt Phase of

19 trial.

20 Members of the jury. you grappled with those issues and

21 you arrived at the truth in this case; that Cameron Todd

22 Willingham two days before Christmas killed his three children

23 by setting fire to the house there on 11th Avenue here in

24 Corsicana, by pouring a combustible liquid on the floor of the

25 babies' room, setting it on fire and standing outside while

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



1 2

of the jury. Let's examine that first point, though, that I talked about--retribution, penalty and punishment for wrongful


those children burned up. I want you to think about the enormity of that crime, members of the jury, as you consider

3 the issue of punishment in this case. I want you to remember

4 the facts, and I want you to remember the blame, and I want to

5 understand the moral culpability of Cameron Todd Willingham

6 that brought us to this point. Members of the jury, I want

7 you to think about that, as long it takes.

8 You know, we're -- we're here to consider the issue of

9 punishment, the issue of penalty in this case. And I don't

10 know if you have ever thought about what -- why we address the

11 issue of penalty -- punishment.

12 Punishment has about three different factors that we

13 14

consider from time to time. The first part -- or the first thing we consider about -- about penalty or punishment is

15 actual retribution and actual penalty for wrongful conduct.

16 That's the first thing we consider.


sometimes we consider a second issue. That's -- that's

18 the issue of rehabilitation--is it possible to rehabilitate

19 the person? And I'll touch on that a little bit later, too.

20 The third, and I'll suggest to you the most important issue in

21 this case, is protection of society. Some people talk of it

22 in terms of the deterrence of other criminal activity. But

23 really, protection of society is the key in this case, members

24 25

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


1 2

conduct. Let's talk about that for a while. You know, based on your verdict, based on the evidence we have seen this week,


3 we can only reach one conclusion and that's that Cameron Todd

4 Willingham, the defendant in this case, has committed the

5 ultimate crime. He's committed the ultimate crime, members of

6 the jury. He's committed the horrible and senseless and

7 selfish murder of his three children. And I don't know -- and

8 I don't want you to ever forget that. Members of the jury, if

9 ultimate penalties exist, can there ever be a more logical

10 case for the imposition of that ultimate penalty than this

11 case? Because this is the ultimate crime.

12 13 14

Let's talk a little bit about rehabilitation. Do you think rehabilitation is really a factor in this case, members of the jury? I would submit to you that it's not even in the

15 ballpark, because Camero~ Todd Willingham, the defendant in

16 the case, had every chance in the world at rehabilitation.

17 He's been to every program; he's gotten every probation: he's

18 attended every course that the juvenile and criminal justice

19 system ever provided for him. And you see where he is today.

20 Ms. Mawoloney, the Oklahoma prosecutor, told you that no one

21 she can think of in her long career has had more changes than

22 Cameron Todd Willingham. But it didn't do any good, members

23 of the jury. Crimes continued; the abuse continued; the

24 25

violence continued. The paint sniffing and the manipulation of children gave way to the theft; it gave way to burglaries:

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

1 2

it gave way to the torture of animals; it gave way to abuse of his wife in an attempt to cause miscarriages of his own


Now, members of the jury, the defendant's family came

3 children; to this murder, members of the jury. You've heard

4 about the spiral of violence. This is the spiral of violence.

5 This is what it means. You've gotten a graduate education in

6 the last week about what violence is and how it happens and

7 how it starts and how it ends. You have seen, members of the

8 jury, the perversion of moral values in this case. You have

9 seen the obsession with violence that's graphically defined by

10 these photographs. You've seen, members of the jury, how it

11 lead to this. And I want that, again, to stay with you as you

12 consider your verdict in this case.

14 up and said, "Please don't give him the ultimate penalty; he's

15 a loving father; he's not violent; he's a good husband; he's a

16 substance abuser. But, members of the jury, all of those

17 things -- all of those things are swept away by the reality

18 and the harm and the evil of the crime that you have found in

19 this case by your verdict this week. And I guess that you can

20 agree, if you want to, with the social worker that told you

21 that, really, that society has failed Cameron Todd Willingham.

22 And I guess -- I guess you can help her try to shift the

23 blame, too, along with the defendant. They'd like you to

24 shift -- they'd like you to shift it to lots of people.

25 They'd like to shift it to the police; they'd like to shift it


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


1 2

threat to society, that he has no conception of the value of

to the justice system: they'd like to shift it to society, but that's not where it lies. It lies with that man right there

3 behind me. And I want you to remember what that social worker

4 says; she doesn't believe in the death penalty. She doesn't

5 know if Hitler ought to get the death penalty, because she

6 wasn't there. And I want you to remember, I want you to

7 understand what credibility to attach to that, based on her

8 testimony. Members of the jury, the real evidence showed the

9 criminal history; it showed the manipulation; it showed the

10 continued violence. The real evidence that you heard showed

11 that Cameron Todd Willingham is known as an outlaw from

12 Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Gainesville, Texas, to Corsicana, Texas,

13 to West 11th Avenue. The real evidence showed that he's

14 dangerous, that he's violent; and, perhaps, most important of

15 all, that he's not going to get any better. The real

16 evidence, members of the jury, shows that he's a continuing


18 life. And there is absolutely nothing anybody can do about

19 it, except for you, by your verdict here today.

20 And, members of the jury, that brings us down to the

21 protection of society and deterrence of crime. And I submit

22 to you, finally, and most importantly, that that's your

23 function in this case--to protect society. Whether the

24 imposition of capital punishment in this case will deter


others, I don't know; but I do know one thing, it will deter

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




_._ ..... _- - -.- - - -.-- ---~------

1 2

Cameron Todd willingham. And that's what we're asking you to do in this case, members of the jury. It will assure that he

3 won't have the opportunity to continue the violence and

4 continue the perversity of behavior~ that's what it will

5 guarantee. And when we talk about perversity of behavior,

6 members of the jury, I want you to consider and I want you to

7 remember the testimony of his wife, Stacy; and I think you can

8 understand, from that testimony, that there are forces of

9 perversion and forces of evil and forces of twisted psychology

10 that we really can't begin to imagine at work out there in the

11 world. We can't explain it, really. What we can do and what

12 I believe you have done already is to acknowledge that it


exists. It exists, members of the jury, when he killed three

14 children in Corsicana on west 11th Avenue two days before

15 Christmas last year. And Cameron Todd Willingham's attorneys

16 may say don't -- don't do this -- don't impose the ultimate

17 punishment, but, members of the jury, the plain fact is that

18 you're really not the ones who are responsible for the

19 imposition of the ultimate punishment in this case because,

20 members of the jury, Cameron Todd Willingham wrote his own

21 sentence when he committed each crime. He wrote his own

22 sentence when he abused his wife, when he tortured a dog, when

23 he tried to kill his children before they were ever born, when

24 he refused every attempt at rehabilitation. He refused -- he

25 refused every single piece of help that was ever proffered to

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




1 2

him. And, members of the jury, he wrote his own sentence when he poured that lighter fluid on the floor of the babies' room

3 here in Corsicana, Texas, and he set it ablaze and he killed

4 those children. He is the one responsible; not you.

5 Members of the jury, the evidence requires that you

6 answer the first question: Do you find from the evidence

7 beyond a reasonable doubt there is a probability that the

8 defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would

9 constitute a continuing threat to society? The evidence

10 requires, members of the jury, that you answer that question

11 "yes." The second issue: Do you find, taking into

12 consideration all of the evidence, including the circumstances

13 14

of the offense, the defendant's character and background and the personal moral culpability of the defendant, there is

15 sufficient mitigating circumstance or circumstances to warrant

16 the sentence of life imprisonment, rather than death be

17 imposed? Members of the jury, there is only one appropriate

18 answer to that question according to the evidence in this

19 case, and that answer is "no."

20 As I was preparing for this case, I ran across a bit

21 of -- a bit of ancient verse that describes the anomaly, the

22 aberration of Cameron Todd Willingham. It talks about demons;

23 it talks about monsters. That ancient hand wrote, "The

24 Almighty hand drove those demons out and they're exiled;


they're shut away from men~ they're split into a thousand

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






forms of evil. Spirits and themes, monsters, a brood forever

opposing the Lord's will and again and again defeated." I'm

3 asking you to defeat the evil of Cameron Todd Willingham now

4 and forever by your answers to these questions.

5 Thank you.


THE COURT: Members of the jury panel, you will

7 be escorted to your deliberating room, where you will arrive

8 at your verdict.

9 (The jury entered the jury room to begin deliberations at approximately 10:15 a.m.)



THE COURT: This court is not in recess yet.

12 The court will be in recess until the jury returns with a







(Jury Note No. 1 was received at approximately 10:20 a.m. and Written Answer was returned by agreement of the parties

at approximately 10:28 a.m., as follows:)


18 "What is the definition of the word 'mitigating,'

19 according to the dictionary?"







"1 am not in a position to answer this question. K.O."

(Jury Note No. 2 was received at approximately 10:50 a.m. and Written Answer was returned at approximately 11:00, as follows: )

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






"What does life sentence mean in term of years? Also

3 can parole be denied?


"(1) Copy of testimonies of wife, psychiatrist and

5 psychologist. (2) Emergency room statements of Dr. Shaw.

6 "Reference to police officer with reference to wife's

7 black eye.

8 "Todd's past criminal record."


10 "Should be in there with the evidence.

11 "No records introduced into evidence.

12 "Refer to the evidence you have and the written


statement about testimony.


"The law provides, with reference to testimony of the

15 witnesses, the following: 'If the jury disagree as to the

16 statement of any witness, they may, upon applying to the

17 Court, have read to them from the court reporter's notes that

18 part of such witness's testimony or the particular point in

19 dispute, and no other.'"


THE COURT: Bring the panel in, Bill.


(The jury returned to the courtroom at approximately 12:05 p.m. and the following occurred: )



THE COURT: Members of the jury panel, have you

24 reached a verdict?



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



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

1 2



THE COURT: Would you pass it to the bailiff,

3 Right at the time that I read the verdict, I don't want

4 any uproar out of the audience, regardless of what the verdict

5 might be.


7 THE COURT: The answer to Special Issue No. 1 is

8 "yes." And the answer to Special Issue No.2 is "no."

9 Mr. Martin and Mr. Dunn, do you all want the panel

10 polled?

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 lB 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

MR. MARTIN: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Members of the jury panel, my question to you is this: Is this your verdict? And I'm going to use last name only.



THE COURT: Dunbar?


THE COURT: Holmes?


THE COURT: Formby?


THE COURT: Watson?


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


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 11 12 13 14 15



THE COURT: Yes. ma'am?



THE COURT: Roper? MS. ROPER: Yes, sir. THE COURT: Dechaurne? MS. DECHAUME: Yes. THE COURT: Holloway? MS. HOLLOWAY: Yes. THE COURT: Morse? MS. MORSE: Yes.

THE COURT: And Ponder? MR. PONDER: Yes.

THE COURT: Members of the jury panel, we

16 appreciate very much you being here with us these few days.

17 I'm going to let you leave at this time. Let me say this to

18 you: The previous instructions given to you with reference to

19 conversation amongst yourselves or with anyone else is no

20 longer of any force or effect. You can talk to anybody you

21 want to -- anyone you want to or not talk to them. It's your

22 choice.

23 And I want everyone to remain in the courtroom until

24 the jury panel is outside. You all may leave at this time.


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



~~----""'----_"--" I"I __ ._"'_IIiI __


THE COURT: You're hereby sentenced to -- to

UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: May my husband walk out with






UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: May my husband--


THE COURT: You betcha.

6 You all are released from any previous instructions;

7 okay?




UNIDENTIFIED JUROR: Do you want to leave these

10 here?


THE COURT: Yes, if you wi11~ unless you want to

12 keep them.






(The jury departed the courtroom; after which the following proceedings were had:)



THE COURT: Does the defendant have anything to

18 say, at this time, why sentence should not be pronounced?


MR. DUNN: No, Your Honor.




22 the -- to -- given the death penalty. And you're hereby

23 remanded into the custody of the Navarro County Sheriff, who

24 will deliver you to the Texas Department of Corrections. No

25 date for your -- no date for the sentence to be carried out at

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




Ede J. Swain, Official Court Reporter, 13th -Ul.st:rl.ct: cour e

this time because it requires an automatic appeal to the Court


of Criminal Appeals. And that concludes this hearing. And

3 you're remanded into the custody of the Sheriff.


THE COURT: I want everyone in the courtroom to

5 remain in the courtroom until the defendant is out of the

6 courtroom and out of the courthouse.

7 John, John Paul (Court addressing Deputy Sheriff).

8 (Court had discussion off the record with Deputy: after which the following

9 occurred:)


THE COURT: That concludes this hearing.


(Proceedings conclude on August 21, 1992, to resume on October~, 1992, with Motion for New Trial, in Volume XVII.)
















10 if any, offered by the respective parties.

11 WITNESS my hand

21 Taxable Cost: $89.00 (Orig & 1 Copy) to be paid by Navarro County, Texas, due to indigency of defendant (30 pgs. at

22 $2.50, 1 index pgs. at $10, 2 bindings at $2 ea.).












~ 25





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

3 Thirteenth Judicial District Court of Navarro County, State of

4 Texas, do hereby certify that the above and foregoing contains

5 a true and correct transcription of all proceedings had on

6 August 21, 1992, in the above-styled and numbered cause, all

7 of which occurred in open court and were reported by me.

8 I further certify that this transcription of the record

9 of the proceedings truly and correctly reflects the exhibits,

Ede J. Swain, 0 REPORTER

Thirteenth JUdicial District Court

P. O. Box 333

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

Certificate Expires: 12/31/92