Daughter Of Murder Victim Testifies; Leaves Courtroom In Tears

(Photo by Christina Truong)
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WACO (April 17, 2014) The state rested its case late Thursday afternoon in Waco in the capital murder trial of Us Carnell Petetan, who is charged in the shooting death of his estranged wife, Gatesville native Kimberly Farr Petetan, 44, but not before emotional and dramatic testimony from the murdered woman's daughter.

Allison Williams, 11, broke into sobs several times as she testified Thursday and what she had to say left courtroom spectators in tears, too.

Kimberly Petetan, was shot and killed in her North Waco apartment in 2012 as the girl watched.

After the shooting authorities say Petetan abducted the girl, who was then 9, and fled.

He was arrested and Allison was rescued after a traffic stop in Bryan.

Williams talked Thursday about how she and her mother were planning to leave Waco and move to Port Arthur, where Petetan lived, because he wanted them to live with him.

She testified Petetan and her mother argued frequently and sometimes the arguments turned physical.

At one point, she said, Petetan got a knife and held it toward her mother and said "do you want to die in front of your daughter?"

Williams said her mother escaped to a bathroom where she called police while Petetan cut himself across the abdomen.

The next day, the girl said, her mother rented a U-Haul and the two moved back to Waco.

She said that her mother cried during much of the drive.

Williams testified that the morning her mother died the two had gone to church and her mother talked about heaven.

Afterward they picked up lunch at McDonald's and rented some movies before going home, she said.

Her sobbing and coughing prompted the judge to call for a break, but after she returned to the stand, and prosecutors continued to guide her through the day of the murder.

She said she and her mother were watching one of the rented movies when someone knocked on the door.

She said she looked through the blinds and saw a skinny man standing outside, but said when they opened the door, Petetan pushed his way into the apartment, pulled out a gun and started waving it around.

She said he told her mother, who had changed into her pajamas after returning from church, that they were returning to Port Arthur and ordered her to get dressed.

Then, she said, the three of them got into a truck, drove to a motel and picked up two other men, who rode in the bed, as they returned to the apartment.

Once inside, she said, Petetan went upstairs with her and her mother and then ordered her to go to her bedroom.

She said she complied and then said she started drawing pictures, writing over and over, “I hate Carnell.”

Later all three went back downstairs, she said, and then her mother pretended that she was going to take her back upstairs to use the bathroom.

Then, Allison said, her mother grabbed her by the wrist and then opened the front door in an attempt to escape.

Petetan, she said, ran toward them, grabbed her mother, shut the door, and then pushed her mother against a wall.

Then, Allison said, Petetan said “Time to dust away,” and shot her mother three times as she watched.

“I see blood and my mom was not moving,” she said.

After the shooting, she said, she, Petetan and the other two men got into her mother’s vehicle and drove off, stopping along a roadside, where Petetan wrapped his gun in a sheet and then appeared to throw it over a fence into some woods.

She was rescued after a Bryan police officer pulled the vehicle over.

Testimony earlier in the week was marked by details provided to the jury from police officers, who responded to the initial calls for help.

Waco police Officer Rebecca Diaz was first to take the stand in Judge Ralph Strother's courtroom, where she described getting a call to investigate gunfire at a north Waco apartment complex.

When officers arrived at The Landing apartments, she testified, she found the victim’s body lying in a pool of blood.

Other officers who arrived shortly later testified the body was lying on a tile floor just inside the apartment door.

Neighbors told them a man left the scene with a child.

As prosecutors showed graphic photos of the crime scene and Kimberly Farr Petetan's body, the nature of the pictures was too much for her family to bear and they all left the courtroom.

But when prosecutors finished the photo show, the family returned to listen to more testimony.

The afternoon was no less trying for the victim's family, however, as a crime scene technician described what she found at the scene and more photographs were shown including close-ups of the wounds.

Relatives bowed their heads and one left the courtroom.

The testimony of Medical Examiner Chester Gwen was equally graphic and included photos of the victim's nude body.

Petetan looked away and dabbed his nose with a tissue and some of the victim's relatives wept quietly.

Gwen detailed his findings and said he found bruises on her body that she received as long as a week before she was killed.

Prosecutors maintain that Petetan forced his way into the victim's apartment by asking another man to knock on the door as he crouched out of sight, and then pulled a gun on his estranged wife and took her upstairs.

They say he then forced Kimberly and her daughter to get into his truck and made her drive to a local motel where two other men were waiting.

The two men got into the bed of the pickup and they drove back to the apartment where Petetan and Kimberly argued upstairs while the other two men and the girl waited downstairs, they say.

That's when they say Petetan shot her.