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Patricia Blackmon

On Death Row for the Brutal Murder of Her Daughter

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Patricia Blackmon

Patricia Blackmon

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On May 29, 1999 Patricia Blackmon, age 29, called 911 in Dothan, Alabama because her 28-month old adopted daughter Dominiqua was not breathing.

The Injuries

Eddie Smith, a paramedic in Dothan, arrived at Blackmon's mobile home at around 9:30 p.m. and 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 she was not breathing. There was a large bump on her forehead and blood on her chest. After the paramedics attempted to revive her, she was transported to Flowers Hospital Emergency Room where she died shortly thereafter.

Two doctors examed Dominiqua and found that she had multiple bruises and contusions and an imprint of the sole of a shoe on her chest as well as scars from previous injuries.

The Autopsy

Included in the 30 separate injuries found on her body, the medical examiner Dr. Alfredo Parades, found bruises on the front part of her lower chest and upper abdomen and around the right groin. She had also suffered a fractured leg.

He also found that Dominiqua had two broken bones and many other injuries that were in various stages of healing.

The Shoe Print

Another discovery found on Dominiqua was an imprint of the sole of a shoe on her chest that was so clearly defined that it was captured in a photograph taken by the doctor.

The Trial

Dr. James Downs, chief medical examiner for the State of Alabama, testified that he compared the sandals 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.

Along with the medical findings there was testimony that Blackmon had adopted Dominiqua approximately nine months before she was killed. Testimony also showed that 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 Blackmon and Dominiqua left his house at around 8:00 p.m.

A search of 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.

Blackmon's Defense

In her defense, Blackmon said that the child was injured when she fell off of the bed. 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 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 Blackmon.

Convicted

The jury convicted 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 Blackmon be sentenced to death.

Appeals

In August 2005, Blackmon appealed to the court that her crimes were not deserving of the death penalty because she believed that Dominiqua was knocked unconscious before being beaten and so therefor her crime was not heinous or cruel. Her appeal was turned down.

Patricia Blackmon now sits on death row at Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama.

Source: Patricia Blackmon v. State of Alabama Lexisone.com

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