On March 16, 2010, Polk County Court at Law Judge Stephen Phillips ordered that a man convicted of murdering his own sister be sent to prison to serve the remainder of his twenty-four year sentence.On January 1, 2005, Patrick McCarty, then 15, shot and killed his younger sister, Frankee, age 13.McCarty had taken a 9mm handgun from his parents' bedroom earlier that evening.While McCarty, the victim and two other children were sitting in a minivan in the front yard of the McCarty home, Patrick McCarty pointed the weapon at each of the children at least once and dry-fired the weapon.McCarty then loaded the weapon and pulled the trigger again.The bullet hit Frankee McCarty in the face.Instead of going for help, Patrick McCarty walked one of the children back to his residence and then returned to the scene.Once back at the scene, McCarty moved his sister's body to another vehicle and placed the gun in her hand, attempting to stage a suicide scene. Next McCarty went inside his home and changed clothes. He then woke his mother and told her that his sister had committed suicide.Law enforcement was summoned to the home.Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff's Office and troopers from the Department of Public Safety found evidence inconsistent with McCarty's story.Eventually McCarty confessed he had shot his sister.
In May of 2006, a Polk County jury found Patrick McCarty guilty of murder and injury to a child.That same jury sentenced him to twenty-four years for murder and twenty years for injury to a child.As McCarty was tried as a juvenile he was sentenced to serve his sentence in the Texas Youth Commission until he reached the age of 21.While at the Texas Youth Commission McCarty continued to refuse to participate in treatment services provided to him and admit he was responsible for his sister's death or any other action he took that night trying to cover up her murder.Because of this refusal the Texas Youth Commission and the Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office asked the Court to order that McCarty be transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to serve the remainder of his sentence in an adult prison.Criminal District Attorney Lee Hon and Assistant Criminal District Attorney Kaycee Jones presented witnesses at the transfer hearing including a psychologist from the Texas Youth Commission who testified McCarty would be a continuing danger to society if he was released on parole.
Dr. Steven Brownlow, Psychologist with the Texas Youth Commission Brownlow testified that McCarty had revealed to him that his home life was filled with beatings, abuse, domestic violence, drugs and alcohol. Brownlow further stated that McCarty was afraid of his dad and that McCarty told him that he "...tried to cover up the shooting of his sister because he was afraid his dad would beat him to death if he found out that he took a gun out of the house". Brownlow alluded to the fact that in his opinion, McCarty was a follower and that he believed t that McCarty should not go back to the house, to that environment because McCarty would follow along with whatever culture there was. He also said that since being in the Texas Youth Commission, McCarty improved dramatically and did everything we asked. But before coming to TYC that McCarty had a persistent pattern of unwillingness to follow the law, and a history of bullying at school. Brownlow diagnosed McCarty with anti-social personality disorder, and that two major signs are lack of remorse, and manipulation. Brownlow stated that McCarty would not admit to murdering his sister, and at the same time, showed no remorse for killing her. "His attitude was that he never pulled the trigger and he never pointed the gun", Brownlow said. Additionally, Brownlow testified that while McCarty's behaviour at TYC was good, he failed capitol offender program. "Our opinion is that he needs to be transferred to TDCJ", he said, "He has the potential to offend again".
Leonard Cucolo, Court Liaison for TYC Leonard Cucolo testified in court and echoed Brownlow stating that he thought McCarty should be transferred to TDCJ because McCarty was a threat to society. He said that McCarty "...does well in a highly structured environment, but in a less restricted environment, all bets are off". "Clearly he would be a risk to re-offend", he said, he went on, "Patrick requires a highly structured environment for the community to be safe". Cucolo lamented whole situation stating "This is a difficult case; you have a brother who killed his sister, a family who is the victim, but also supportive to the aggressor, this is a very sad case", he said.
After listening to the testimony during the two-day hearing Judge Phillips ordered McCarty to be transferred to the adult prison system to serve the remainder of his sentence.
Following the transfer hearing, District Attorney Lee Hon stated, "Personally this was one of the most tragic and heart-wrenching cases I've ever prosecuted.The evidence in the case overwhelmingly lead to one conclusion: that Patrick McCarty had deliberately shot and killed his sister.In assessing the twenty-four year determinate juvenile sentence, the jury obviously hoped that Patrick McCarty would go into the Texas Youth Commission system, accept responsibility for his actions, and begin the process of changing his life and behavior.Clearly, he did not do that and left the judge with little choice other than to transfer him to the adult prison system.While this is still a very sad situation for all concerned, we feel that Judge Phillips made the right decision in regard to the protection of the people of our community."
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