Mon. May 20th, 2024

On May 29, 1999, adoptive mother Patricia Blackmon called emergency 911 to summon paramedics to her mobile home in Dothan, Alabama. She told the 911 operator that her child was not breathing. Eddie Smith, a paramedic, testified that he arrived at Blackmon’s mobile home at around 9:30 p.m. and that he 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 was not breathing. There was a hematoma on her forehead and blood on her chest. After the paramedics attempted to revive her, she was transported to Flowers Hospital Emergency Room.

Dr. Matthew Krista testified that he treated Dominiqua when she was brought to the emergency room. He said that he first established an airway but that at 10:22 p.m. she was pronounced dead. Dominiqua’s pediatrician, Dr. Robert Head, was also called to the emergency room.   Both doctors testified that the child had multiple bruises and contusions and an imprint of the sole of a shoe on her chest. They also said that they observed marks from previous injuries on her body.

Dr. Alfredo Parades, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy, testified that Dominiqua died of multiple blunt-force injuries to her head, chest, abdomen, and extremities-he detailed some 30 injuries that he discovered on the child’s body.   

Dr. Parades testified, “She has bruises in the front part of the lower chest and upper abdomen.   Bruises around the right groin. She has a fracture, this is the fracture of the leg. And, on her side, she has bruises on the left temporal area above the ear. She has bruises on the ear on the left. She had a bruise on the right cheek area. She had a bruise on the side of the heel and foot area. Then on the back, she had multiple bruises on the lower back, bilaterally. That is both sides. Bruises of the buttocks, bruises behind the knee area and below the knee area. And in addition to that, she had numerous lines, what I describe as in parallel, like a train track. There were numerous injuries with a pale area in between the left buttock area.”

On May 29, 1999, adoptive mother Patricia Blackmon called emergency 911 to summon paramedics to her mobile home in Dothan, Alabama.

Parades also said that Dominiqua had two broken bones and many other injuries that were in various stages of healing. Parades also described many internal injuries. He said that Dominiqua also had an imprint of the sole of a shoe on her chest.

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.

There was testimony indicating 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 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.

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. The circuit court held a separate sentencing hearing after the presentence report was prepared. 

Blackmon was indicted for capital murder in August 1999. In March 2001, Blackmon moved that she be allowed discovery of the transcript, exhibits, and any other memorialization of the grand-jury proceedings. The motion listed only one ground in support of the discovery of this evidence-that Blackmon had been indicted for capital murder.

Blackmon is currently housed at Tutwiler Prison on death row in Wetumpka, Alabama.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |