Tuesday, September 15
The first person to take the stand today was a jail guard. She said she has no reservations about Levi and was never afraid of him. She says she saw absolutely nothing that would qualify him as a dangerous inmate. She then went on to say he had fell into the highest possible public risk category, but the lowest possible prison risk category. This means he was a safety threat to those in the general public, but not to other inmates.
A criminology specialist then took the stand. He has spent years studying inmates and the Texas prison system in general. He testified that if given the sentence of life without parole, Levi is less likely than other inmates to act violently in prison. His reasoning is that his research has shown that those with that punishment often resign themselves to the fact that prison is now their home, and they settle into it as a new life. He says the homicide rate in Texas is 6/100,000. The homicide rate in Texas prisons is 2/100,000. He also said that 27-year-old King is older than the average inmate (24 years old), and the older an inmate is, the less likely he is to be violent. The prosecuting District Attorney spent a long time cross examining this witness, asking in depth questions about his research methods and how he came up with conclusions that he did.
Levis uncle took the stand next. He is Levi's mom's half brother. He said he and his family went to the King house several times over the years. He said it was so atrocious, he would never let his family stay there overnight, or even for more than a few hours because there was rarely running water and/or a clean bathroom. He said he was extremely concerned about the welfare of the children inside the house. He said all of the King children reminded him of little orphans... unkempt and just looking for someone to love them. He said their bedroom was one giant room with beds lined up like in an orphanage. He said he would never let his children be unsupervised inside that home for even one minute. The defense team showed the courtroom several detailed photos taken inside the King home, including a kitchen with counters covered in so much stuff wild animals were living there, unfinished rooms with insulation hanging out of the walls, a bathroom that lacked running water and privacy, as well as an unfinished staircase without a railing. The jury also saw photos of the outside of the King property. They saw a large trash pile right outside the front door, junk in the yard and a smashed up mailbox at the end of the King's dirt driveway. King's uncle said the house got worse overtime.