Mother's trial begins in 2008 Rusk County child death case
By Robyn Claridy firstname.lastname@example.org
April 4, 2011 at 11 p.m.
HENDERSON - Amora Bain Carson suffered for hours before she died, Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson emphasized to jurors Monday morning.
Jesseca Carson is charged with the Dec. 2, 2008, bludgeoning of Amora, Carson's barely 1-year-old daughter.
Her boyfriend, Blaine Keith Milam, also was charged in the toddler's death and is on death row awaiting a lethal injection following his 2010 guilty verdict for capital murder.
Milam and Carson had claimed they were trying to drive demons out the 13-month-old.
Jimerson told the jury the only thing that he and the defendant's attorneys, Don Killingsworth and Allison Biggs, would agree on was that Milam was the one that killed Amora.
"However, Jesseca played a part in the acts," Jimerson said.
Three witnesses testified Monday in a Rusk County District courtroom with Judge Clay Gossett presiding.
Medical examiner Keith Pinckard, who supervised and assisted with Amora's autopsy, said Amora's injuries were "extensive and not concentrated on one specific part of her body."
He noted 24 "definitive" bite marks that were found "head to toe" on Amora's body, a head trauma which he called "one big bruise and abrasion," a tear to her liver, genitalia trauma, possible signs of strangulation, several fractured bones and bruises.
"Her cause of death was ruled homicidal violence with several blunt force objects and possible strangulation," Pinckard stated matter-of-factly. "I've never seen anything like this."
He said Amora's death would not have been quiet or painless, and that it would have taken time for injuries of this caliber to be inflicted.
The examiner also noted there were signs of substances found in her system that are ingredients in Tylenol and Benadryl, according to toxicology reports.
"Every component of child abuse was there because there were a lot of different things going on in this case," Pinckard said. "None of the other examiners had seen anything like this either. You don't even see this in a textbook, not with this severe of a brutality."
Carson turned away as multiple images of the battered and bruised body were shown to the jury.
Prosecution called two other witnesses to the stand to prove Carson and Milam's whereabouts on the day police responded to the home in the 13000 block of CR 2125 between Tatum and Henderson in the Chalk Hill community.
Insta Cash pawn store manager Crystal Dobson testified both Milam and Carson were in her store at about 9 a.m. on Dec. 2 pawning items for cash, which was verified with store surveillance footage.
Rusk County authorities have previously said they were pawning items to get enough money to pay for an exorcist who could rid Amora of demons.
The final witness called to testify was Jared Walker, supervisor at On the Run, an Exxon convenience store in Henderson.
He testified that he did not know Milam or Carson, and was there to confirm that the video footage presented from their store was accurate.
The footage showed Carson and Milam pulled up to the store at 9:17 a.m., and Jimerson said the 911 call reporting that Amora wasn't breathing came in at 10:57 a.m.
There were no signs of Amora in any of the video footage presented in court.
According to previous reports, the couple gave several explanations about the child's injuries, including they had left the child unattended and someone broke in and bludgeoned her.
Officials later said Carson confessed that Milam killed Amora when they were trying to rid her of demons.
Testimony we resume this morning at 9 a.m. The trial is expected to last between a week and a half to two weeks.
Carson faces life in prison without parole if found guilty, Rusk County officials said.