A capital murder trial begins for Irving’s mother, accused of killing her daughter
A Dallas-area mother on capital murder trial police say confessed to killing her daughter two years ago.
Dallas County Jail
CBS Texas’ Annie Gimbel and Robbie Owens report That Madison MacDonald is facing two counts of capital murder for the deaths of 1-year-old Lillian Mae MacDonald and 6-year-old Archer Hammond.
Police in Irving, Texas, say that in April 2021, MacDonald walked into the lobby of their headquarters, then called to say he had sedated his daughters, dragged them to bed and suffocated them.
A spokesman for the department, Robert Reeves, CBS Texas said MacDonald’s demeanor was “calm” as he complained that his children were “being bullied” and that he would do anything to protect his daughters, including “getting rid of them.”
A second day of testimony Thursday turned emotional as the girls’ fathers took the stand.
“I remember the time I got the call early Monday morning from his mom … telling me he was going to kill the girls,” Archer’s father Tim Hammond said.
Hammond told jurors that she believed the 30-year-old mother of her child was “a good mother” and that she was never concerned for her safety while she was with Archer.
Then in the fall of 2020, McDonald was involuntarily hospitalized to receive treatment for his mental health struggles. Hammond testified that he began to notice that he was becoming more paranoid and began to claim that the girls were being abused.
Police and child protective services investigated but never substantiated the claims
MacDonald also accused Lillian’s father, Christopher MacDonald, who told jurors that when Epidemic Hitt, his relationship with the mother of his child was strained as she acted more delusional.
“I accused him of sexual assault in the middle of the night; crawling through the ceiling or something,” McDonald said. “She was complaining about her mother, Archer’s father … lots of things.”
Defense attorneys are blaming mental illness for the children’s deaths. McDonald entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
But CBS Texas reports that prosecutors said anger over a failed marriage may have played a role.
According to prosecutors, just before the murder, Madison and Christopher were going through a seemingly amicable divorce, one Madison wanted, but then she changed her mind and became very jealous and wanted to know if Chris was talking to other women. Prosecutors seemed very focused on that troubling relationship in their questioning.