FORT WORTH — Before he met Roxann Sanchez, the Bedford woman he killed last year, Cedric Ricks lived with Jennifer Clark for about a year.As the relationship deteriorated, during one argument Ricks called her fat and she threw a candle at him, Clark testified Thursday.Clark ordered Ricks to leave her house and said she would call police if he didn’t. Ricks’ response: If you do, I’ll kill you, Clark testified.That’s when she pulled out a shotgun.“I will not be the first to die,” Clark said she told Ricks.Clark was called to the stand Thursday by Tarrant County prosecutors who are trying to persuade jurors to sentence Ricks to death by, among other things, showing that he poses a continuing threat to society. His defense attorneys will try to demonstrate mitigating factors in his character or background that warrant a sentence of life without parole.On Wednesday, the jury convicted Ricks of fatally stabbing Sanchez, 30, and her 8-year-old son, Anthony Figueroa.Ricks also stabbed Marcus Figueroa, Sanchez’s 12-year-old son, and left him bleeding on the floor of their Bedford apartment on May 1, 2013. Marcus survived and testified this week in the guilt-innocence phase of Ricks’ trial.Jealous, unfaithfulClark said she met Ricks on Tru.com, a dating website that she worked for in 2009.After a few weeks of texting and sending messages, they met, Clark said. About three months later, Ricks moved in with Clark and her daughter, she said.In 2010, Clark’s ex-husband was murdered, and Ricks became jealous of her grief, Clark said.Ricks “got upset and said, ‘You must still love him because you’re crying over him,’ ” Clark said. “I didn’t really have time to grieve because I was afraid of upsetting him.”And there were other things.“There were text messages to other women, pictures of him with other women,” Clark said. “I just didn’t feel like he was being faithful.”After the argument that ended with the shotgun, Clark testified, Ricks asked her to let him stay, but she gave him a letter asking him to leave within 30 days. He was gone before her deadline.One woman after anotherAlso Thursday, prosecutors Robert Huseman and Bob Gill called family and friends of Roxann Sanchez.Her mother, Diane McGrew, had testified Wednesday that Sanchez was married to Reyes Figueroa, the father of her two sons, about the same time that Ricks was moving out of Clark’s house.Sanchez and Figueroa separated in 2012, McGrew testified. “Right after that, Roxann met Ricks,” McGrew said.Ricks and Sanchez met at her job, where she trained him to be a medical assistant, Sanchez’s friend Amanda Gomez testified Thursday.It wasn’t long before Ricks moved in with Sanchez and her two sons, and Sanchez became pregnant with Ricks’ child soon after they began dating, Gomez said.On Nov. 11, 2012, Sanchez filed an assault complaint against Ricks that sent him to jail.But then Sanchez asked Gomez to help get Ricks out of jail, Gomez testified.“She loved him,” Gomez said. “She thought he was going to get help, and she wanted a father for her baby. I told Roxann I couldn’t put my name on Cedric’s bond because what if he didn’t stop? I couldn’t have that on my shoulders.”After Ricks was released, he moved back in with Sanchez, but she was planning an escape, Gomez said.“I saw Roxann the Friday before she was murdered,” Gomez said. “She signed a lease for a new apartment. She was leaving Cedric and starting all over. Her move date was going to be the first or second week in June.”Their last goodbye was a little out of the ordinary for them. “Roxann hugged me for a really long time,” Gomez testified. “We were best friends, but we’re not the touchy-feely type. We were walking out of the leasing office, and she turned around and hugged me for a really long time. That was the last time I saw her.”Testimony is scheduled to continue Friday in state District Judge Mollee Westfall’s court. It is the first time Tarrant County prosecutors have sought the death penalty since 2012, when Steve Lawayane Nelson was sent to Death Row after being convicted in the murder of Arlington minister Clint Dobson.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3