Prosecutors began presenting their case Tuesday in Calhoun County Circuit Court against Jacquindalyn Carr, 36, of Weaver. Carr is alleged to have stabbed her husband, Demetrious, with a steak knife during a domestic dispute at their home on Maumee Drive two years ago today.
Testimony from Calhoun County deputies took up most of the first day of the prosecution’s case, but the state’s star witness was Jasmine Murray, the only other person at the Carrs’ residence at the time of the stabbing.
Murray, 19, of Anniston, recalled she stayed the night of May 2, 2010 at the Carrs’ home in Weaver because she was at the time involved in a relationship with their son, LaDarius. She said she had been asleep when she heard Demetrious kick in the front door and yell at Jacquindalyn.
Murray didn’t get far in her testimony before she nervously fell quiet while describing the events she saw the night of the stabbing.
“Are you okay?” Assistant District Attorney Sheila Field asked Murray, who shook her head.
“You don’t want to be here Ms. Murray, do you?” Field asked Murray who began crying on the stand.
But prosecutors showed little sympathy for the woman as Field questioned the statements Murray made to law enforcement officials as well as to Carr’s defense attorney, Wilford Lane, in the days after the murder. Those statements did not indicate she saw Demetrious hit Jacquindalyn that night. But in her testimony Tuesday, she said she saw Demetrious hit his wife twice, once in the mouth and once in the face, before the two went outside, where the stabbing allegedly took place.
“You didn’t say anything about that back then,” Field said. “So I want to know which statement is true?”
Field then asked Murray to read aloud to the jury the statements she had written for officers and Lane. While reading, Murray paused twice and said “that’s a lie,” to two statements. Those statements included one indicating that Carr told Murray she had kicked her husband out of the house earlier that day, and another in which Murray had claimed she went back to her bed to sleep after the stabbing.
Lane also questioned parts of Murray’s testimony on cross-examination, asking why the woman had not previously told him she heard the Carrs leave and re-enter the house multiple times throughout the argument.
The biggest point of contention in Murray’s statements focused on whether Jacquindalyn had a knife in her hands when she was allegedly hit by Demetrious. In her testimony, Murray said that after she saw Demetrious hit his wife twice, she saw Jacquindalyn Carr following her husband outside.
“She had no weapon on her,” Murray said before Field had time to ask the question.
On cross-examination, Lane asked Murray to identify photographs of the crime scene showing the house on Maumee Drive trashed, allegedly by Demetrious in a drunken rage. The prosecution objected to the line of questioning, citing that Murray did not see Demetrious do any damage, but only heard an altercation from the bedroom she was sleeping in. Lane rephrased the question to indicate that Demetrious threatened Jacquindalyn’s life. The prosecution objected again.
“Nothing in her testimony said he threatened her life in any way,” said Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Weems.
The two attorneys also debated the merits of identifying a bag containing a “white, powdery” substance found in Demetrious Carr’s vehicle after his death. The prosecution objected to Lane referring to the substance as cocaine. Calhoun County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Savage said the substance was never tested after its recovery.
“You can’t charge a deceased man with possession,” Weems said.
“If he was alive it would have been tested,” Lane countered.
Forensics experts from the Alabama Department of Forensics in Birmingham later testified that tests of Demetrious Carr’s blood after his death showed no substance other than alcohol. The experts agreed he’d had two and half times more alcohol in his system than the legal limit for drivers.
The trial was cut short early after Lane said the prosecution could speed things along by not entering every piece of forensic evidence –- including blood samples found at the scene –- one item at a time.
“We all know it’s Demetrious Carr’s blood,” Lane said. “We have no objection to that.”
The trial is set to resume at 9 a.m. today.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star