‘I hurt my baby,’ capital murder jurors hear Mobile man tell police officer

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A distraught Markeise Kardell Caldwell can be heard fighting back tears as she speaks to a police officer after her then-girlfriend’s baby died in May 2018.

“I hurt my baby,” she said off-camera in police body footage that was played for a jury at Caldwell’s capital murder trial.

Prosecutors used their opening statement to portray the man accused of brutally beating four-month-old Kendrick Cole and then hiding it. Mobile County Assistant Prosecutor Louis Walker told jurors the child was beaten on May 3, 2018, at the Azalea Point Apartments while the baby’s mother was at work.

Caldwell, 29, did not seek treatment, Walker said. He added that three days later the boy was taken to Providence Hospital. He said the boy died in a helicopter that was taking him to the University of South Alabama Hospital.

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“Caldwell hit him, he hit this four-month-old boy multiple times and threw him against the footboard of the bed multiple times,” Walker said.

Bucky Thomas’ defense attorney denied in his opening statement that his client was not “the brutal murderer the government is trying to make you believe” but a man suffering from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. out of a robbery and shooting in 2014. He said prosecutors couldn’t meet their burden of proving Caldwell intended to kill the baby.

“It’s not going to be presented to you as evidence that he woke up and decided, ‘I’m going to kill that kid,'” he said.

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Thomas told jurors to scrutinize his client’s demeanor as they watched the video of the police interview.

“He was angry when he was talking to the detectives,” he said.

At one point, Thomas said, Caldwell told investigators: “I’ve been haunted by demons.”

After a week, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed Monday to a jury to hear the first death penalty case in Mobile County since the COVID-19 outbreak. There are nine men and seven women and four candidates.

Walker told jurors they will hear evidence that Kendrick’s older brother, Kendall, was also abused.

Walker said jurors saw the message Caldwell sent the boys’ mother telling her Kendrick had fallen off the bed and hit his head. The suspect gave police a similar description of the events of May 3, 2018, where he said Kendall pushed his brother out of bed.

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Later, Walker said, Caldwell changed his story and confessed. An autopsy revealed the baby’s skull was fractured, the prosecutor said.

“He was beaten several times by an older man,” he said. “The defendant slammed her down on the floor of the bed several times.”

The show resumes on Tuesday.

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