Victim's Sister Testifies in Murder Sentencing

Prosecution rests case after emotional afternoon

By Chris Van Horne
|  Thursday, May 3, 2012  |  Updated 8:18 AM CDT
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Another day of emotional testimony in the sentencing of Broderick Patterson. Eric Forrester's sister took the stand Wednesday, she escaped the home before the shooting started that left her brother dead.

Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter

Another day of emotional testimony in the sentencing of Broderick Patterson. Eric Forrester's sister took the stand Wednesday, she escaped the home before the shooting started that left her brother dead.

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It was another emotional day of testimony in the sentencing of a teenager who shot and killed an 18-year-old two years ago.

Broderick Patterson pleaded guilty to the murder of Eric Forrester in April 2010, but is letting a jury decide his punishment. Patterson faces life in prison as a maximum penalty under a plea agreement.

Forrester's sister, Kali, took the stand Wednesday afternoon. She was at the home the day of the burglary, aggravated robbery and murder but was able to escape before her brother was confronted and shot.

There was hardly a dry eye in the packed courtroom as Kali Forrester's family and friends and even the defendant's mother cried during her testimony.

She walked jurors through the day of April 12, 2010, and what her younger brother meant to her. Her brother picked her up at her work after her car wouldn't start. As they were about to have lunch, they began to think that someone was upstairs after they heard creaking, she said.

Eric Forrester was at the top of the stairs when he yelled out, "Hello." And one of the two burglars, one of which is the defendant Patterson, said "Hello" back. Eric Forrester stayed while Kali Forrester ran out of the house and called 911 from a neighbors porch.

From there, Kali Forrester saw the pair leave the house with two stolen laptops. While on the phone with 911, she discovered Eric's body lying on the kitchen floor. Prosecutors played the gut-wrenching 911 tape where Kali Forrester can be heard screaming.

After the tape was played, Kali Forrester was asked to describe her discovery.

"Awful -- I never want to see anything like that again," she said.

Throughout her half-hour on the stand, Forrester wished she could change the events of that fateful day.

"I wish I wouldn't have told him to go look," she said. "Knowing what I know now, I'd say, "We need to leave.'"

Forrester said her younger brother was always there for her, such as picking her up from work that day when her car wouldn't start.

"He knew who he was," she said. "He stuck to it, nobody could change his mind. He was strong, religious, a really good example to me."

But his loss shattered her world, she said. Forrester said she still is uncomfortable being home alone.

"It made me question religious beliefs, like, why would God let this happen?" she said.

She said life inside the Forrester family home isn't the same without her brother.

"It's different; there's no music," she said. "He played the cello, guitar and piano, and he played them all all the time."

Forrester was the prosecution's final witness during the sentencing trial.

On Thursday morning, the defense will begin to present its case with its opening argument that states Patterson is not evil and is remorseful for what happened, but can't take it back. The defense is will argue that Patterson should not receive a life sentence with the eligibility for parole in 30 years.

Also on Wednesday, prosecutors spent the morning detailing Patterson's criminal history. He had several run-ins with the law in the six months preceding the burglary and shooting.

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