- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - A jury deliberated about three hours without reaching a verdict Friday night following a trial that included testimony from a 6-year-old girl who said her father shot her mother and grandparents in her family’s home in Memphis.

The jury was scheduled to resume testimony again Saturday morning in the capital murder trial of Sedrick Clayton, 31, who is charged with fatally shooting 23-year-old Pashea Fisher - his girlfriend and the girl’s mother - during an argument on Jan 19, 2012, in the home belonging to Fisher’s parents. He also is charged with killing the parents, Arithio and Patricia Fisher, in their bedroom. Authorities say Clayton left the home after the shooting with his daughter, Joydin Clayton, before turning himself in to police.

Prosecutors will seek the death penalty if Clayton is convicted as charged.

In a statement to police, Clayton said he began shooting after Fisher’s father kicked him in the chest as Clayton argued with his girlfriend.

Before closing arguments Friday, Joydin Clayton took the stand as a prosecution witness. Wearing a red-white-and-blue dress and sitting up straight in the witness chair as relatives watched, she pointed out her father, who looked on from the defendant’s chair.

Joydin was questioned by prosecutor Jennifer Nichols, who asked her if the girl knew the difference between lying and telling the truth. Joydin said she did. The girl said she lived in the house with her mother, grandparents and uncle.

Nichols asked the little girl who was hurt the day of the shooting. Joydin responded, “my momma, my granny and my paw-paw.”

Nichols asked her who hurt them.

“My daddy,” she said.

Nichols then asked how he hurt them.

“With his gun,” the girl said.

“Did he shoot the gun?” the prosecutor asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Joydin said.

The girl also testified that she did not want to go with her father after the shooting.

On cross-examination by defense attorney Gerald Skahan, the girl said she did not remember if her father and grandfather got into a fight before the shooting. She acknowledged that it was hard to remember events from more than two years ago, when she was 4.

After her testimony, lawyers played a videotape of her interview with an official the day of the killings. Joydin acknowledged in the interview that her grandfather did kick her father.

Sedrick Clayton said in his statement to police that the shooting was in the “heat of the moment” and he panicked. In opening statements, Skahan told jurors they could decide the killings were voluntary manslaughter if they believed the shootings were not premeditated.

Before the trial, Sedrick Clayton offered to plead guilty in return for serving three consecutive life sentences. Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich rejected the offer.

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