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Jury To Decide Life or Death For Carter

3:19 PM, Oct 13, 2005   |    comments
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By Kyle Meenan First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL –- Pinkney 'Chip' Carter admitted killing three people, now the jury will decide if he gets life in prison or the death penalty. Carter was convicted on September 27th of the first degree murder of Glenn Pafford, his former girlfriend, Liz Reed, and Reed's 16-year old daughter, Courtney in their Arlington home three years ago. In opening arguments in Judge Lance Day's courtroom, Assistant State Prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda reminded the jury how Carter fired only six shots, but each of those bullets were to the head. "All of the shots hit their intended target. The heads of each of these three victims," said de la Rionda. Carter's defense told the court how it will present 30 different character witnesses to give the jurors a better understanding of Pinkney 'Chip' Carter the man before the murders. Wednesday was the day many of the victim's families have both dreaded, and looked forward to as they took turns telling the jury about the devastation in their lives caused by Carter's actions. The first family member to testify was the father of victim Glenn Pafford. "There are no words that can describe the pain and despair that Glenn's death has caused our family," said the elder Pafford. The ex-husband of victim Elizabeth Reed wept openly as he described the hours after Liz Reed and Pafford were killed, and 16-year old Courtney was losing her battle to stay alive in the hospital. "There are no words to describe what it's like to tell an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old that their mother is dead, and their sister is very very sick, and they cannot see her because they're too young." And from victim Elizabeth Reed's surviving 11-year-old daughter, came testimony of Holidays gone forever. "I miss making deviled eggs at Christmas with my mom, we also used to make meatballs by hand." A call for a mistrial came when the defense argued one witness angrily glared at Carter while allegedly delivering her testimony with emphasis. Testimony was stopped as Judge Lance Day sent the jury out, advising the witness against directing her emotion at the defendant, and subsequently denying the motion for mistrial. The biological father of 16-year-old victim Courtney Smith also wept as he took the stand. "Courtney was my daughter. She was my first born," said Larry Smith. "She was the first grandchild to my family and now I'm left with the memories of her joyous birth to suppress the memories of her funeral." Testimony in the afternoon continued with the defense starting the first of an expected thirty witnesses including Carter's brother and sister. The defense statements are expected to continue through Thursday, with the trial expected to run through Friday.

First Coast News

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