Grand jury indicts capital murder defendant on new charge

Clifford James Gayton, 18, of Texarkana Texas

A Texarkana, Texas, man accused of killing his former girlfriend’s 2-year-old in January was indicted by a grand jury Thursday for allegedly injuring a second child.

Clifford James Gayton, Jr., 19, was indicted for capital murder in March in connection with the Jan. 28 death of Da’Corian Wright. The toddler was found cold and unresponsive around midnight by his mother, who was reportedly working when the boy suffered blunt force trauma severe enough to tear internal organs, according to a probable cause affidavit.

On the night of Da’Corian’s death, his younger sister was examined by Child Protective Services caseworkers who noticed bruising on many areas of her body. The 13-month-old sister was seen first at a local hospital and then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

The children’s mother told investigators Gayton had been living with her and her youngsters for about a month before Da’Corian died.

Prosecutors with the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office previously announced that the state is not seeking the death penalty for Gayton in Da’Corian’s death. Gayton’s age, coupled with his lack of a criminal history, make it unlikely a jury could reach the required finding that he will present a danger even while locked in prison without the possibility of parole.

Gayton faces life without parole if convicted of capital murder in Da’Corian’s death. If found guilty of injury to a child involving the murdered boy’s sister, he faces two to ten years.

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