FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Testifying in the punishment phase in the trial of a teen who pled guilty to killing his son, Richard Forrester described seeing his child clinging to life in a hospital bed after being shot.
“I saw him in the hospital, laying on the bed on his back, just like he came into the world, with tubes in his nose, an IV in his arms and blood dripping out of his nostril,” said Richard Forrester.
Broderick Patterson, 18, confessed and pled guilty to the murder of Eric Forrester, 17, and faces 5 to 99 years in prison.
In April of 2010, Eric Forrester and his sister went home from school to eat lunch. The brother and sister walked in on two juvenile burglars who shot Forrester in the head.
The victim’s parents relived the days surrounding the murder as they testified.
Richard Forrester, Eric’s father, was the first to take the stand.
“He was my right-hand man. He was like my mini-me,” he said. “When we got ready to do things we had a routine.”
A picture of Eric holding his niece brought Richard Forrester to tears. Eric Forrester, who was born six weeks premature, was described as fighter by his parents.
Richard Forrester was out of town when he got the news that his son had been shot.
Family members, friends and schoolmates from Southwest High School filled the courtroom.
Eric Forrester’s life-long friend, Kenyan Gomm, gave a tearful testimony. Gomm said the two became close during the church camp they attended every summer. Through tears he described what his life has been like without his best friend.
“I used to have someone I could talk to. Someone that I loved, that I could go to for just about anything,” he said. “I don’t have that anymore.”
Kathy Ridley, assistant principal at Southwest High School, described Patterson, as a struggling student with a disciplinary problem whom she and many other teachers and coaches had tried to help. Despite his struggles, she said, Patterson was an “awesome kid who had make poor choices;” choices that may land him in jail for a lifetime.
The other suspect, Clifton Elliot, has been charged with Capital Murder but has not yet gone to trial.
Testimony continues Tuesday.