Kimberly Lagayle McCarthy, 52, was executed by lethal injection on 26 June 2013 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder and robbery of a woman in her home.
On 21 July 1997 in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster, McCarthy, then 36, went to the home of her neighbor, Dorothy Booth, 71. She asked to borrow some sugar, and Booth let her inside. McCarthy then began attacking Booth, stabbing her five times and hitting her in the face with a candelabrum. She cut off Booth's left ring finger in order to obtain her diamond wedding ring. She took the victim's purse, walked out of the home, and cleaned herself up.
The next morning, McCarthy, dressed for work, drove Booth's car to a crack house to purchase crack cocaine. She later pawned the victim's wedding ring for $200 and used her credit cards at least four times that day.
In a written confession taken after her arrest, McCarthy stated that two drug dealers who were visiting her at her house asked her, after her money ran out, if they knew of anyone she could borrow money from to buy more drugs from them. She said no, but "they began to be verbally abusive & threatening harm to me if I didn't." She then suggested her neighbor, Dorothy Booth. The drug dealers told her to call Booth and ask to borrow some sugar, as a pretense for going to her house so that they could rob her. She stated that they went over together, and when Booth opened the door for her, the drug dealers went inside, while she waited outside in Booth's car. They came outside with Booth's belongings, and they drove away. McCarthy admitted driving Booth's car, selling her possessions for drugs, and using her credit cards.
At McCarthy's trial, the defense failed to present any evidence that anyone but McCarthy was involved in the killing.
McCarthy had a previous felony conviction for forgery. She was given a two-year prison sentence, which she began serving in February 1990. She was released on parole after four months, and was discharged from her sentence in December 1991. She also had a misdemeanor conviction for prostitution in 1990.
The state presented evidence that McCarthy had murdered two other elderly women in 1988. Maggie Harding, 82, was a longtime friend of McCarthy's mother. She helped organize McCarthy's wedding and had let her store some furniture at her house. The second was Jettie Lucas, an 85-year-old distant relative. Both women were killed in their homes and both suffered stab wounds and multiple blunt force injuries. A claw hammer was used on Lucas, while Harding was bludgeoned with a metal meat tenderizer. Both of their purses and credit cards were stolen.
A jury convicted McCarthy of capital murder in November 1998 and sentenced her to death. In December 2001, however, The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned her conviction because the police took her confession from her after she requested a lawyer.
McCarthy was put on trial again. In the second trial, prosecutors presented a butcher knife found in McCarthy's home. It had been washed, but forensic experts found blood remains inside the plastic handle. The blood contained Booth's DNA.
In closing arguments, defense attorney Brad Lollar argued that the state had no evidence - "no hair, no fiber, no fingerprints, no blood" - placing McCarthy in the victim's home.
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