The capital murder trial of Curtis Copeland, accused of sexually assaulting and beating to death a 3-year-old boy, is set to begin Monday in 362nd District Court. Curtis Copeland
The district attorney is not seeking the death penalty in the case. If convicted of capital murder, Copeland will receive an automatic life sentence.
Jamie Beck, first assistant district attorney, said she could not discuss the specifics of the case because the trial is pending. Prosecutors Tony Paul and Michael Graves will be trying the case, she said.
"Any time a case involves a child death, it is obviously an emotionally taxing case. We are eager to seek justice for little Jesse," Beck said.
Defense attorney Bruce Isaacks is representing Copeland. He did not respond to a telephone message left Wednesday asking for comment.
On March 30, 2010, Copeland, 28, was watching 3-year-old Jesse Fleming Fisher Jr. and his 1-year-old brother at a house north of Krum while his girlfriend was at a Decatur hospital giving birth. Copeland lived with his father at the home off FM2450.
According to court documents used to obtain an arrest warrant, Copeland went to a neighbor's house about 4 p.m. and asked her to call 911. He told her he had found the little boy unconscious on a bedroom floor.
When paramedics from Krum and Sanger arrived, Copeland was performing CPR on the boy, who had blood coming from his nose and ears, according to the court documents. He was taken to a Dallas hospital where doctors were unable to resuscitate him.
Copeland told Denton County sheriff's investigators that the boys' mother, Sharon Worthy, called him a few days earlier and said Jesse had fallen down some stairs.
He said the boy had been ill off and on since then.
He said the boy had a seizure of some kind earlier in the week.
He told the investigators that on that day the boy complained of being tired and he told him to take a nap. He said he heard a thump and found the boy unconscious on the floor.
According to the court documents, doctors found that Jesse had a broken pelvis, a broken vertebra, severe head trauma and numerous bruises. Testing revealed the boy had been sexually assaulted, according to the records.
The attending doctor told sheriff's investigators that none of the injuries was consistent with having fallen down stairs.
Because of his status as a convicted felon, Copeland was not supposed to have contact with children, according to the report.
Worthy was charged with injury to a child in the case. She is set for trial Feb. 27. State child abuse investigators took the 1-year-old boy and his newborn brother into custody.
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.