By Michelle Guffey
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial of a 66-year-old Killeen man accused of brutally killing a Fort Hood officer in his home in Harker Heights.
Leroy Mott is on trial on a charge of capital murder in the March 18, 2004, slaying of Lt. Col. Reginald Sin-gleton, 38, during commission of a burglary.
Mott was originally charged with also killing David Singleton Jr., 58, and the attempted capital murder of Tomiko Davis, 29. Lt. Col. Singleton, a doctor at Darnall Army Community Hospital on Fort Hood, and his father were shot to death at the doctors home in Harker Heights. Dr. Singleton was in the process of transferring to his next duty station at Fort Drum, N.Y., his house full of moving boxes.
Dr. Singleton was married to Motts daughter. The couples divorce and the custody of the two children may have been the motivation behind the killings, prosecutors said. However, several items from Dr. Singletons home were found in Motts possession, prompting the burglary charge, said prosecutor Paul McWilliams.
The doctor, his father and the doctors two sons 4 and 6 years old at the time lived at the residence. Davis, Dr. Singletons fiancee, lived there as well.
According to the arrest affidavit, Harker Heights police officers were responding to a call of a suspicious vehicle parked on nearby Cheyenne Drive when they heard gunshots coming from the direction of Arapaho Drive, a block away.
Charles Wendel, a Fort Hood soldier and instructor at the Fort Hood NCO Academy, testified that he left his house on Cheyenne Drive around 5:30 a.m., noticing a gray vehicle parked across the street.
I came (home) about 7:30 a.m., and the vehicle was still there, he said.
Wendel said he and his neighbor looked in the vehicle and saw a pry bar, two empty gun holsters, a rifle and several other suspicious items. He said they decided to call the police.
Harker Heights police officer Steven Michael Miller was the first to arrive at the gray Ford Escort. Inside the car, Miller saw a rifle with a scope and several coffee cups.
I noticed the locks (on the car door) were hollowed out, Miller testified, prompting suspicion that it might be stolen.
Miller said that while he and officer Robert McCall were waiting for a call-back from the police station on the car, they heard a series of gunshots. Miller ran in the direction of the shots, and McCall drove the police car.
Miller testified that when they arrived, they saw a man lying in a driveway dressed in a Class B uniform, blood around his head. Miller said he found no vital signs.
The officers heard a noise at the front door and cautiously approached. Mott, dressed all in black, was at the door. The officers demanded he come out and show his hands.
Miller said they asked Mott if there was anyone else inside. He told them there were two more inside. I think theyre hurt. I think theyre dead, Miller recalled Mott saying.
Officers found David Singleton in the living room dead from a gunshot to the head, and Tomiko Davis in the master bedroom, conscious and shot in the neck.
Harker Heights fire marshal Steve Philen testified that he arrived on the scene. He said he checked Dr. Singleton and his father and determined they were deceased.
He was then taken to Davis.
She was on her back and she made a statement to me, They shot me last month. They shot me again, he stated.
On Jan. 12, 2004, around 6 a.m., Dr. Singleton and Davis were out jogging on Harker Heights Blvd. when someone fired a gun from a car, hitting Davis in the leg.
Philens testimony about Davis statement to him brought an objection by the defense attorneys, prompting a request for a mistrial. Judge Trudo denied their request.
It was determined before the trial started that the incident in January 2004 was not allowed to be brought up during the trial.
A video of the crime scene was shown to the jury. The video showed David Singleton lying in the living room near the fireplace, spent shell casings around his body. His body was lying at a twisted angle, blood pooled around him.
The video showed smears of blood that led to some boxes a few feet away. When detectives moved the boxes, they found blood was under the boxes.
The medical examiners report stated that Singleton was shot in his left hand, right thigh, left hip and the left temple the shot to the head being the fatal bullet.
The video also shows Dr. Singleton lying in the driveway in his Class B uniform, blood around his head. Dr. Sheila Spotsword, medical examiner for Dallas County, testified that Dr. Singleton died from a single gunshot wound to the head behind his left ear.
A .380 automatic handgun and .32-caliber revolver were recovered in the house. All three individuals were shot with the .380, according to Ronald Crumley, a ballistics specialist with the Texas Department of Public Safety. The gunshot wound to David Singletons head was caused by the .32, Crumley testified.
Davis was shot in the neck, paralyzing her from the neck down.
Ownership of the two guns was not established during testimony Tuesday.
Court records show that on Nov. 15, 2002, a divorce was finalized between Dr. Singleton and Deidre Mott Singleton.
Deidre Motts daughter and Dr. Singletons ex-wife has not been charged in the deaths or the shootings.
According to published reports, last October, during a child custody hearing, Deidre lost parental rights of her two sons to Dr. Singletons mother, Elizabeth Singleton. During that trial, published reports indicate that Davis entered a statement saying she heard Deidres voice in the house that day as she lay shot on the floor of the bedroom.
Tomiko Davis will take the stand today, recounting her memory of the incident that took away the use of her limbs and the man she loved.
The trial resumes at 9 a.m. today in Judge Martha Trudoss 264th District Courtroom.
Contact Michelle Guffey at email@example.com