Man to die for killing 3 children by yaosaigeng

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									PAGE 2A                                                                                 Laredo Morning Times                                                                                 Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Man to die for killing 3 children                                                                                                            Beaumont woman faces
BY MICHAEL GRACZYK
Associated Press Writer
                                   was an utterly sociopathic
                                   individual,” says Jackson,
                                                                      ignite the floors, a front
                                                                      threshold to the house and                                             trial for capital murder
                                   the former Navarro County          on a concrete porch. A fire
  HUNTSVILLE, Texas —              district attorney and now a        marshal testified the place-                                           BY PAM EASTON                                            building. Duct tape was
When firefighters arrived at       state district judge. “He had a    ment of the accelerant was                                             Associated Press Writer                                  stretched across his mouth
the burning five-bedroom           lifestyle that really didn’t       designed to impede any res-                                                                                                     and belted his tiny arms to
house on Corsicana’s south         include care and nurturing of      cue efforts by firefighters.                                             HOUSTON — A Beaumont                                   his body. Authorities later
side, the man who lived there      children. And, in my opinion,        Willingham suggested a                                               woman accused of smoth-                                  learned he still had milk in
was outside.                       the children were just an          lantern lamp dumped fluid                                              ering and abandoning her                                 his stomach.
  Neighbors said they saw          impediment to his lifestyle.”      when a shelf collapsed inside                                          newborn son almost six                                     “She doesn’t look sympa-
Cameron Willingham out-              Willingham, now 36, insist-      the house and caught fire or                                           years ago and then leaving                               thetic at all,” South Texas
doors even before the blaze        ed in a recent interview on        his oldest daughter, who was                                           a second baby in a ditch                                 College of Law professor,
engulfed the place, accord-        death row he wasn’t respon-        “fascinated with everything,”                                          over the summer has a lot                                Shelby A.D. Moore, said
ing     to    testimony     at     sible for his daughters’           accidentally set off the blaze.                                        to overcome when she                                     Monday of Berry.
Willingham’s trial.                deaths.                              “Either that or someone                                              faces trial Tuesday on a                                   The former prison guard
  “He was engaged in push-           “I was the only person at        came in with the intent to kill                                        capital murder charge, a                                 and day-care worker has
ing his car out of the way so      home and that was their way        me and the children,” he said                                          legal expert said.                                       said she is innocent. Berry’s
                                                                                                           CAMERON WILLINGHAM
it wouldn’t be scorched by         of thinking,” he said of the       from prison. “The arson                                                  Kenisha Berry, 26, is                                  attorney, Ronnie Cohee,
the flames,” John Jackson,         charges against him. The           investigator was a liar.”                                              charged with capital murder                              said she doesn’t believe the
                                                                                                         he said. Willingham said he
the prosecutor in the subse-       resulting trial was “a joke,” he     “He really just wanted to get                                        for the smothering and                                   state’s case against her
                                                                                                         tried to get to the twins’
quent criminal case, recalled.     said.                              rid of them,” says Pat                                                 abandonment of her son                                   client is as strong as
                                                                                                         room, couldn’t get past the
  Inside, Willingham’s three         “Any man who can look at         Batchelor, who was Navarro                                             shortly after his birth in                               implied.
                                                                                                         flames and ran to get help.
young children — 2-year-old        me in the eye and say the          County district attorney at the                                        1998. She also faces a sep-                                “Anybody in any case has
                                                                                                         His house had no phone.
Amber, and 1-year-old twins,       justice system is not a farce      time. “He had a burn on his                                            arate abandonment charge                                 obstacles to overcome,”
                                                                                                           “The only way for me to get
Karmon Diane and Kameron           is a liar. All they’re going to    arm from charcoal lighter                                              for leaving her newborn                                  Cohee said, adding it is
                                                                                                         back into the house was to
Marie — were dying. It was         do is kill an innocent man for     fluid.”                                                                daughter in a ditch over the                             prosecutors who must
                                                                                                         jump back into the flames,”
two days before Christmas          something he didn’t do. The          Willingham, a native of                                              summer. The little girl sur-                             prove the charges against
                                                                                                         he said. “I wouldn’t do that.”
1991.                              most distressing thing is the      Ardmore, Okla., said his                                               vived, but was covered with                              Berry. “They say they have
                                                                                                           Trial testimony showed he
  Willingham was charged           state of Texas will kill an        wife went out shopping and                                             hundreds of ant bites when                               got a lot of evidence, but I
                                                                                                         expressed no grief over the
with setting the blaze that        innocent man and doesn’t           left him with the children.                                            a passer-by spotted her in                               think it may turn out to be
                                                                                                         loss     of   the    children.
killed the three youngsters,       care they’re making a mis-         He was asleep late in the                                              June.                                                    different then what they are
                                                                                                         Neighbors said he “hollered
was convicted of capital mur-      take.”                             morning when the 2-year-
                                                                                                         about his car” and a firefight-       The baby boy’s body was                                thinking it will be.”
der and sentenced to death.          Evidence at his trial            old woke him with her cry
                                                                                                         er testified how Willingham         found years earlier in a                                   Prosecutors plan to seek
  His execution was set for        showed an accelerant,              for him. He saw smoke,
                                                                                                         was upset over the loss of a        black plastic bag tossed in a                            the death penalty against
Tuesday night.                     believed to be charcoal            jumped out of bed and told
                                                                                                         dart board.                         trash bin in the parking lot of                          Berry if she is found guilty of
  “In my opinion, Willingham       lighter fluid, was used to         her to get out of the house,
                                                                                                                                             a Beaumont apartment                                     capital murder.


                                                  DAILY CALENDAR
  Tuesday, Feb. 17                 son/casual attire.                 more information, call 721-        online to www.laredo.edu/ce
  The J.W. Nixon Band                The Phi Theta Kappa              5179.                              or call 721-5374.
Parents’ Association is con-       Chapter of LCC will hold a           Candidates can file now            The LCC Semi-Annual Art
ducting a special meeting          meeting and orientation for        for a place on the LCC             Student Show is currently
today. It will be held in the      spring 2004 candidates             Board Election ballot. The         on display at the LCC Art
band hall at 7 p.m. All band       seeking induction to the           application is available           Teaching Gallery through
parents are encouraged to          international honor society.       online                     at      Feb. 20. Admission is free.         By The Associated Press
attend this very important         The session begins at 1            www.laredo.edu/elections or        For gallery hours or more
meeting.                           p.m. in the Kazen College          from the college’s presiding       information, call 721-5224.           Today is Tuesday, Feb. 17, the 48th day of 2004. There are
  Throughout the spring            Center, Room 121. For              elections officer, located in        Webb County Head Start is         318 days left in the year.
2004 semester, TAMIU’s             more information, call 721-        the LCC Administrative             presently accepting applica-          Today’s Highlight in History:
Office of Career Services          5304.                              Annex Building, Room 101.          tions for children age’s 3-5          One hundred years ago, on Feb. 17, 1904, Giacomo
will be offering workshops to        The LCC Student Activities       Office hours are Mondays           years old and for disabled          Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly” was poorly received at
help student prepare for the       Office, in collaboration with      through Thursdays from 8           children of the same ages.          its world premiere at La Scala in Milan, Italy. (Puccini
next step. Today’s workshop        the LCC Art Club, will pre-        a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays         For additional information,         revised his work, which went on to enjoy great success.)
will be “Preparing for             sent a student leadership          from 8 a.m. to noon. The           call (956) 795-1515.                  On this date:
Graduate and Professional          videoconference featuring          deadline to file an applica-         Texas Migrant Council Inc.          In 1801, the House of Representatives broke an electoral
School” at 11 a.m. in the          humorous speaker, author           tion is Mar. 15 before 5 p.m.      is registering migrant chil-        tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing
Student Center, Room 114.          and entertainer Jonathan           For more information, call         dren age’s six weeks                Jefferson president; Burr became vice president.
For more information, con-         Sprinkles. The presentation        721-5825.                          through 5 years old for head          In 1817, a street in Baltimore became the first to be light-
tact 326-2260.                     will begin at 6 p.m. in the de       The    LCC      Continuing       start services. The agency          ed with gas from America’s first gas company.
  Taste of Laredo, 7 p.m.,         la Garza Building, Room            Education Department is            also provides services to             In 1865, Columbia, S.C. burned as the Confederates evac-
Laredo         Entertainment       101. Admission is free of          offering a selection of fast       children with disabilities who      uated and Union forces moved in. (It’s not known which side
Center. $21.50 per per-            charge to students. For            track personal enrichment          meet the program qualifica-         set the blaze.)
                                                                      and career building courses,       tions. For more information
                                                                                                                                               In 1897, the forerunner of the National PTA, the National
               POLICE BLOTTER                                         including new classes at
                                                                      LCC      South     beginning
                                                                                                         or an appointment, call 753-
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                                                                                                                                             Congress of Mothers, was founded in Washington.
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