Court hears emotional recording of cop on trial


The court heard a recording Wednesday of an emotional former police officer as he was interviewed shortly after his wife was shot last year.

Detectives said they believe the couple, Shari and Deon Cartmell, had financial problems, which may have led to the fatal shooting in March 2010.

Shari Cartmell's mother, Charlotte Harbour, and sister testified Wednesday. Her mother said that she asked her daughter when she was going to start a family and she said Shari told her, "I can't have a baby with Deon. He said he would killed me and the baby before he ever had to pay child support." Shari's sister testified that one time at Shari and Deon's house, she asked Shari to get Deon to remove a gun from the ottoman and she said Deon said, "It's my f_ing house and everyone else can get the f&%$ out."An unidentifed married woman said she met Deon once at the gas station she worked at, thought he was attractive, so she gave him her phone numbers. They talked about meeting up at a hotel, but they never did.The prosecutor in the case also told jurors Tuesday that former office Deon Cartmell played mind games with his wife and bragged to buddies about going out with other women.

Detective Charles Robinson was a strong witness for the state, testifying that from the evidence at the scene it looked like it was an accidental discharge. But Robinson heard Deon's account of what happened and later changed his mind. Prosecutors said Deon's cell phone records showed he was texting and calling other women. One of those women was scheduled to testify Wednesday.

Deon Cartmell is charged with first-degree murder in connection to the March 2010 shooting death of his wife.

Defense attorney Jim Todd said this was an accidental discharge of the weapon and Shari had the gun in her hand when it went off. He said "this is not a crime, this is a tragedy."Prosecutors said the court will hear from a DNA expert and a gunshot residue expert who will testify that Deon had blood spatter on his right shoulder.

Todd explains the couple were at home on March 16, 2010 when Deon felt the impact of the discharge and saw Shari laying on the couch bleeding. The gun was lying on the coffee table.

Todd said Deon called 911 and administered CPR on his wife, which led to him having blood on him when authorities arrived.Two paramedics who responded to the scene testified Tuesday about seeing Shari laying lifeless on the couch.According to police, Cartmell told emergency dispatchers that Shari shot herself when the incident occurred.

Video recordings from Cartmell's police questioning after his arrest were played during Tuesday's trial. For the first time, the public heard his account of how things happened. He said he and Shari had a wonderful relationship, but would sometimes argue.

The Metro Police Department decommissioned Cartmell after the death of his wife.

Two months after the shooting, Cartmell was indicted by a grand jury.

When Cartmell was released from jail, Shari's mother, Charlotte Barbour, moved out of Tennessee.

During a July 2010 interview, she told Channel 4 News that she feared for her safety.

"He could do anything to any of us," Barbour said. "So now, we don't want to put ourselves in that environment."

Police seized Cartmell's weapons before he was released from jail.

Judge Randall Wyatt ordered him to live with his father and to have no contact with his in-laws.

Copyright 2011 WSMV. All rights reserved.


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