Foster dad ‘takes the fifth’ on testimony
A Milam County grand jury indicted 26 persons on Thursday in its October session but didn’t hear from Clemon Small, the foster father of a two-year old Rockdale girl who died July 31.
Prosecutor Bill Torrey told The Reporter that Small, through his attorney, has invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before the grand jury.
Earlier this summer Small— husband of Sherill Small who was charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Alexandra “Alex” Hill—appeared before a Milam grand jury and requested an attorney.
Judge John Youngblood appointed Round Rock attorney Randall Scott Magee to represent Small.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution contains a clause stating no person in a criminal case “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.”
DEATH—Sherill Small was charged with capital murder in connection with the death, telling Rockdale police the girl was slammed to the floor in “an accident” at the couple’s San Jacinto Street home.
Lt. J. D. Newlin said Mrs. Small told police: “She was playing a game, holding Alex up over her head, swinging her down almost to the floor, then swinging her back up.”
“She told us she did it once, twice and then on the third time lost her grip and the child hit the floor,” he said.
Newlin said autopsy records showed the child “was mortally injured by a blow to the head and also received a bruise to the right side of her face and a lacerated liver.
That incident occurred July 29. The child died three days later in a Temple hospital.
Clemon Small was interviewed during the investigation and was not charged in connection with Alex’s death.
Newlin said Clemon Small told policehehada7p.m.meeting at a Rockdale restaurant, almost exactly the time the incident was believed to have occurred, and the restaurant’s video surveil- lance shows him entering the establishment at 7:02.
“ The video shows he only stayed three minutes,” Newlin said. “He gets a call, which he said was the one from his wife informing him what had happened at home, and leaves the restaurant at 7:05.”