'Something didn't feel right,' baby sitter says in Fort Worth murder trial

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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FORT WORTH -- The jury could tell from the 911 recording the exact moment that Karen Clerkley found her son's body.

Clerkley had been summoned home on Feb. 19, 2010, by her baby sitter, who had found the front door of the house open. She went inside but came out quickly, fearful that "something didn't feel right," the baby sitter testified.

When Clerkley arrived, she went inside and was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher as she walked through the living room and described broken glass on the floor, a missing TV and two missing game systems.

As Clerkley turned to enter her bedroom, she screamed: "My son! Oh my baby, my baby!"

The recording was played and Clerkley testified Tuesday in the opening of the capital murder trial of Dominique Jones, 21, one of three men accused of killing Daniel Garner, 18, during a robbery at the family's home in the 6900 block of Trail Lake Drive.

Damian Lamon Murkledove, 21, of Fort Worth was convicted in April and is serving a life sentence without parole. Bryan Alonzo Jones, 26, no relation to Dominique Jones, is free on bail awaiting trial on a capital murder charge.

Clerkley's baby sitter, Christina Stapleton, testified that she took the phone from Clerkley and begged for help to come quickly. Garner lay on the bedroom floor, arms outstretched and pointed upward, eyes open, and blood pouring from his body from several places.

Stapleton went outside to try to find help and waved down a passing car. The occupants were Lynette Reed, a licensed vocational nurse, and her husband.

"The woman just kept saying 'He's dead,'" Reed testified. "'He's in the back bedroom and he's dead.'"

Reed went inside and searched Garner's neck for a pulse and finding none began chest compressions.

"I gave him one rescue breath, and that's when I heard him gurgling," Reed told the jury.

Prosecutor Nelda Cacciotti asked Reed what that meant.

"It meant he was drowning in his own fluids," she said.

Testimony continues today in Criminal District Court No. 4. Visiting judge Jerry Woodlock is presiding.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752

Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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