Patricia Blackmon is on death row in Alabama for the murder of a child. According to court documents Patricia called 911 to report that a child was not breathing. When emergency personal arrived on the scene they were shocked by what they scene. The child who was not breathing was covered in vomit and was wearing blood soaked socks. Once the child was brought to the hospital doctors noticed a very high number of both new and old injuries and called the police. Patricia Blackmon would be found guilty of both murder and felony child abuse and would be sentenced to death
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The State’s evidence tended to show that on May 29, 1999, Patricia Blackmon telephoned emergency 911 to summon paramedics to her mobile home in Dothan. Patricia Blackmon told the 911 operator that her child was not breathing. Eddie Smith, a paramedic in Dothan, testified that he arrived at Patricia Blackmon’s mobile home at around 9:30 p.m. and that he found Dominiqua lying on the floor of the master bedroom-she was wearing only a diaper and blood-soaked socks, was covered in vomit, and was not breathing. There was a hematoma on her forehead and blood on her chest. After the paramedics attempted to revive her, she was transported to Flowers Hospital Emergency Room.
Dr. Matthew Krista testified that he treated Dominiqua when she was brought to the emergency room. He said that he first established an airway but that at 10:22 p.m. she was pronounced dead. Dominiqua’s pediatrician, Dr. Robert Head, was also called to the emergency room. Both doctors testified that the child had multiple bruises and contusions and an imprint of the sole of a shoe on her chest.1 They also said that they observed marks from previous injuries on her body.
Dr. Alfredo Parades, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, testified that Dominiqua died of multiple blunt-force injuries to her head, chest, abdomen, and extremities-he detailed some 30 injuries that he discovered on the child’s body. Dr. Parades testified:
“She has bruises in the front part of the lower chest and upper abdomen. Bruises around the right groin. She has a fracture, this is the fracture of the leg. And, on her side, she has bruises on the left temporal area above the ear. She has bruises on ․ the ear on the left. She had a bruise on the right cheek area. She had a bruise on the side of the heel and foot area. Then on the back, she had multiple bruises on the lower back, bilaterally. That is both sides. Bruises of the buttocks, bruises behind the knee area and below the knee area. And in addition to that, she had numerous linear, what I describe as in parallel, like a train tack. There were numerous injuries with a pale area in between ․ the left buttock area.”
Parades also said that Dominiqua had two broken bones and many other injuries that were in various stages of healing. Parades also described many internal injuries. He said that Dominiqua also had an imprint of the sole of a shoe on her chest.
Dr. James Downs, chief medical examiner for the State of Alabama, testified that he compared the sandals Patricia Blackmon was wearing on the day of the murder with the scanned image of the victim’s chest, and it was his opinion that the imprint on Dominiqua’s chest was consistent with the sole of the sandals. Downs also testified that it was his opinion that Dominiqua’s recent injuries were consistent with having been made by a pool cue.
There was testimony indicating that Patricia Blackmon had adopted Dominiqua approximately nine months before she was killed. Testimony also showed that Patricia Blackmon had sole charge of the child from the time her father-in-law saw the two of them earlier on the evening of the murder until the time of the child’s death. Wayne Johnson, Blackmon’s father-in-law, testified that on the night Dominiqua was killed he saw Dominiqua and she was playing and acting normal. He said that Patricia Blackmon and Dominiqua left his house at around 8:00 p.m.
A search of Patricia Blackmon’s mobile home revealed several blood-splattered items. Forensic tests revealed the presence of blood on a broken pool cue, a child’s T-shirt, a pink flat bed sheet, a quilt, and two napkins. The blood matched Dominiqua’s blood.
Patricia Blackmon called several witnesses to testify in her defense. Judy Whatley, an employee of the Department of Human Resources, said that she had had contact with Dominiqua and Patricia Blackmon once a month for five months before August 1998 and that she noticed that the two had a good relationship. Tammy Freeman, Blackmon’s neighbor, testified that she frequently left her children with Patricia Blackmon.
The jury convicted Patricia Blackmon of capital murder. A separate sentencing hearing was held, at which the State relied on the aggravating circumstance that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel to support a death sentence. After the sentencing hearing the jury, by a vote of 10 to 2, recommended that Patricia Blackmon be sentenced to death.
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The attorney for a Dothan woman who beat and stomped her adopted daughter to death argued before the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Tuesday that she does not deserve the death penalty.
A Houston County judge sentenced Patricia Blackmon to death for the May 1999 capital murder of 2-year old Dominique Bryant. The judge ruled that Bryant’s death was especially heinous, atrocious and cruel, which qualified Blackmon for the death penalty. Bryant’s body sustained numerous injuries, including a fractured skull. The little girl was stomped with such force that an imprint from a shoe was left on her chest. Blackmon attorney Clark M. Parker told the appellate court today that the medical examiner who testified in the case could not say to a medical certainty that Bryant was conscious during the beating.
If that was the case, then she could not have been under emotional stress to merit the “heinous, atrocious and cruel” guidelines for the death penalty to be imposed. Arguing for the state, Stephen Shows said the evidence showed that Bryant suffered greatly before she died. Bryant had injuries on both her front and back, which Shows said proves that she was struggling to get away while she was being beaten.