Bowie County grand jury indicts teen for capital murder in toddler’s death

Clifford James Gayton, 18, of Texarkana Texas

A Bowie County grand jury handed down a capital murder indictment Thursday morning for an 18-year-old Texarkana man accused of beating a toddler to death.

Clifford James Gayton could receive the death penalty or a sentence of life without parole possible if convicted of capital murder in the death of a child under 10. Gayton allegedly caused the injuries that left 2-year-old Da’Corian Wright lifeless Jan. 28. The child was pronounced dead at his mother’s home on Elizabeth Street in Texarkana, Texas, after his mother called for help because he was unresponsive.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Da’Corian’s body was bruised on his head, face, torso, legs and pelvic area and his internal organs had suffered such blunt force some of them were torn. Gayton was allegedly babysitting Da’Corian and his 1-year-old sister while their mother was at work.

The mother told police Da’Corian seemed normal when she left for work that afternoon and that she thought he was sleeping when she got home shortly after 9 p.m. The mother reported that Da’Corian was cool to the touch and not breathing when she checked on him later that night.

Gayton was arrested a couple of days later at a relative’s home in Texarkana, Texas. Police who were there to serve him with a capital murder warrant allegedly found him hiding beneath a bathroom cabinet.

Gayton is scheduled to appear in court next month for arraignment before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart.

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