By Libby Cluett
PALO PINTO – State and defense attorneys start meeting with a jury pool of 200 summoned Palo Pinto County citizens today to select 12 for the county's first capital murder case in many years.
Mark Emmons McLaughlan, 33, stands trial next week after he was charged with capital murder after the September 2005 death of 2-year-old Cayson Reese Mosley, of Perrin.
According to past Index reports, McLaughlin, the child's babysitter, told investigators the 2-year-old was injured in an accidental fall that occurred sometime on Sept. 19 at a residence in Tuck's Mobile Home Park on Farm-to-Market Road 1195. The child died days later at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death as “homicide by blunt force trauma.”
McLaughlin will face a jury in the 29th District Court presided by Judge Jerry Ray. In today's organizational meeting jurors will complete a questionnaire and will be instructed to not read or listen to news media until the trial ends. On Monday, they will return for the beginning of voir dire – the jury-selection process when prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases.
Palo Pinto County District Attorney Mike Burns said he inherited the case when he became district attorney nearly two years ago. He said that when a forensic case like this comes up, which relies on scientific evidence and expert witnesses, it is not only costly but time consuming for this rural jurisdiction which “handles a huge caseload.”
“The [office of the] Attorney General is prosecuting because I asked them to,” he said, adding that the county is sharing trial costs with the state. “Capital cases [present] an enormous cost to a jurisdiction. This [AG] unit is designed to help rural counties. It's the kind of case that requires resources they have. It is beyond the resources of the county.”
200 prospective jurors summoned to district court today.
By Libby Cluett
- Local News
NRCS to conduct annual meeting Aug. 6 in Mineral Wells
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Palo Pinto County and the Palo Pinto Soil and Water Conservation District cordially invite the public to attend their 2014 Local Working Group meeting Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Weatherford teen dies following wreck near Brock
WEATHERFORD -- A 16-year-old Weatherford teen injured in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week died Tuesday afternoon at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
Jordan Paredes, reported by relatives to be in a coma following the wreck, was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. in the trauma intensive care unit, the medical examiner reported.
Perrin FFA members attend Texas FFA convention in FW
Members from the Perrin FFA chapter attended the 86th annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 14-18 in Fort Worth.
Buffalo killer, store shoplifter targets of police, Crime Stoppers this week
Police are seeking leads on the death of a Mineral Wells man’s pet buffalo.
Five teens hospitalized after wreck near Brock
BROCK – Alcohol may have been involved in a wreck Wednesday near Brock that sent five teens to the hospital, including two with life-threatening injuries, according to information from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
PET OF THE WEEK: Molly left behind
Molly is a 5-6 year old Dachshund. Molly’s previous owners had to let her go when they moved and found out that they would be unable to keep her as a pet, so they brought her into the Mineral Wells Animal Shelter. Molly is the sweetest little dog you’ve ever seen.
Lillian Peek Cottage Benefit Golf Tournament is Saturday at Canyon West
Lillian Peek Cottage Benefit Golf Tournament hosted by The MWHS 50 Year Club is Saturday, July 26, at Canyon West Golf Club, 160 Canyon Road, Weatherford, TX 76087.
Kitchen Boot Camp for kids
PALO PINTO – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Palo Pinto County will be hosting day camps with a focus on food and fun.
ADOPTABLE PET: Brighten Blue's day
Sweet Blue is a 9-month-old female catahoula/red heeler mix. She is a laid back and quiet, a medium-sized girl searching for her forever home.
USDA processes 106,000 payments to farmers for grazing, livestock losses
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently provided a 12-week progress report on U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster assistance programs, announcing that USDA has processed 106,000 payments to farmers in 40 states across the country who suffered livestock and grazing losses between October 2011 and passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
- More Local News Headlines
- NRCS to conduct annual meeting Aug. 6 in Mineral Wells