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AFFAIR BEGETS MURDER
1975 - Duncanville, Texas
Linda Gail Bingham gives birth to a daughter, Patricia. Linda resides with her
parents who help out with caring for the baby. Patricia's (biological) father is
in prison for murder, and Linda has a problem with substance abuse.
1991 - Cherokee County, Texas
Patricia Bingham (16) is a high schooler who likes to race cars. She's tried
a little drinking, and a little pot smoking. Patricia is more interested in the
lifestyle that surrounds those who are into racing.
Bobby Sexton, employed as a roofer, is almost twice Patricia's age, but
they strike up a relationship and begin dating.
STARTING A FAMILY
1992 - Patricia (17) is pregnant and drops out of school. She later gives birth
to a daughter.
1993 - May - Bobby and Patricia get married.
1993 - July - Patricia (18) gives birth to a second daughter.
Bobby's unable to work as a roofer due to a back injury which required
him to undergo five surgeries. He applies for disability. He helps out
at Patricia's grandfather's shop located 100 yards from their home.
It's the Bingham wrecking yard.
1995 - Patricia Sexton (20) is pregnant again. It's also the year she is
diagnosed with Cancer.
1995 - November - Patricia gives birth to a third daughter.
1996 - Patricia (21) wants to keep trying for a boy, but is unsuccessful.
To become free of uterine cancer, she undergoes a hysterectomy.
The Sexton's are having marital difficulties. Patricia escapes her troubles
by race car driving....and in the arms of a fellow race car enthusiast, Michael
Fielding. Bobby is at home, taking care of the girls.
Patricia will later claim that Bobby was being verbally and physically abusive;
that she only intimate with Michael Fielding for one night.
Bobby's family dispute this and say the affair was much more than one night.
DIVORCE & CUSTODY
Bobby Sexton has had enough, he files for divorce, and, for custody of
their three girls. The court awards Bobby custody. He and the girls move
Patricia wants her girls back and she doesn't care how she does it.
First, she tries reconciliation.
Bobby's willing to give it a try and he and the children move back into the
trailer with Patricia.
Bobby's Mother "He told me he was going back, and I told him "I'd rather
you didn't. But he did."
Patricia later claims that she had cut off all contact with Michael
Fielding. Bobby's family say their affair continued, unabated.
Michael Fielding agrees.
Michael Fielding "She told me the only reason she went back was to
get her kids."
Reconciliation isn't working. Patricia wants to be with Michael Fielding
AND have her children. She begins telling Fielding that Bobby is beating
and raping her.
Yet she never files a report with police, or with the court.
Photo: Patricia Sexton
Patricia and her grandmother, Dorothy Bingham (who's raised her) talk about
having Michael Fielding purchase cocaine to plant on Bobby so he'll be arrested,
lose custody and be out of the picture as far as Patricia's concerned. Several
times Patricia asks Fielding if he has any cocaine. Linda Gail Bingham (mother
of Patricia is aware of these conversations, including one where Patricia and
Dorothy Bingham ask Al Clark (Linda's boyfriend) to set up a drug deal where
Bobby Sexton would be killed so she (Patricia) could get her kids back.
Al Clark is in the house and overhears Patricia and Fielding discussing "how
they were going to get away from Bobby Sexton." Patricia and Dorothy Bingham
ask Clark to get some drugs to "set Bobby up." He'll later testify that he told
them he would do it, but then changed his mind and told them "I don't want to
Soon, the drug plot is abandoned in favor of a more,,,,permanent solution.
1998 - February 11 - Patricia Sextion tells her lover that she wants her husband
dead. She tells him she is "tired of him beating and raping
Michael Fielding asks "Why don't you just leave?"
Patricia Sexton "I can't, because he'll get custody of
Patricia still doesn't file any reports with police about
the alleged abuse.
Later on the same day Patricia asks Fielding and Willie
Wright "Do you know a hit man?" Fielding says "no."
Wright offers to do it saying "I'll kill him for $2,500.00."
Patricia asks Al Clark's (boyfriend of her mother Linda Bingham) about guns
that can't be traced by ballistics.
Linda Bingham (Patricia's mother) overhears Patricia telling her grandmother,
Dorothy Bingham "I need to get rid of Bobby."
Patricia tells her, Clark and Michael Fielding "the only way I'll ever be rid of
him is for him to be dead."
February 12 - Patricia asks Michael Fielding to kill Bobby for her. He refuses,
but Patricia doesn't let up. For the next few days she pesters
him, repeatedly asking him to kill her husband for her. Michael
Fielding finally agrees.
Now that she has her lover agreeing to murder for her, Patricia wants it done
and with and she sets the date, February 20th. She obtains surgical gloves
and gives them to Fielding for use when he commits the murder.
Michael Fielding will later testify that Dorothy Bingham was present when he
agreed, and when Patricia gave him a box of surgical gloves.
During the next few days Patricia periodically calls Fielding, making sure he's
going to go through with it.
1998 - February 20 - Bobby & Patricia Sexton purchase a pizza and bring it to
Willie Wright and Michael Fielding at the shop where
Fielding works as a mechanic. While Bobby speaks with
Wright, she takes the opportunity to make sure her lover
isn't going to back out of their murder plot.
The Sextons return home to their trailer.
10:30 P.M. - Willie Wright provides Fielding with a shotgun and tells him "I'll go
get Bobby." Michael Fielding waits at the bottom of a hill outside
Patricia's grandfather's wrecking shop on his property.
Wright lures Bobby Sexton out of his house on the pretext that he
needs Bobby's keys to open up the shop. As the two men walk to
the shop Michael Fielding blows a hole in Bobby Sexton's chest
with the shotgun at close range.
Patricia phones Michael and asks "Is it over?" "Yes."
Fielding tells her to bring Bobby's Suburban over, but she says
she can't because Bobby had the keys. Searching Bobby's
right front pocket he finds the keys, a set of 8-10 keys with a
"little `ole emerald thing on it." When Patricia he gives her the
Patricia leaves and when she returns she is driving the Suburban.
Fielding observes a single key in the ignition, not the set of keys
he'd taken off of Bobby.
Fielding will later testify to their individual and collective participation,
but Patricia will hotly deny having been involved.
Both Wright and Fielding load Bobby Sexton's body into the back of the
Suburban. They drive the vehicle to a remote area of the Neches River,
where they unload Bobby's body and dump it into the river. Then they
drive to near Dialville, Texas where they abandon the Suburban.
A MISSING PERSON INVESTIGATION
1998 - February 21 - Bobby Sexton is reported as missing.
Patricia makes up flyers and posts them around
town asking for help in "finding Bobby."
While working in the area, Al Clark observes Bobby Sexton's Suburban
on a high-line right- of-way in Dialville. He doesn't approach it. The next
day, he returns to the Suburban and drives it to the wrecking yard.
He observes a single key in the ignition.
Clark will later testify that he was familiar with a "roll or ring" of keys that
Bobby used in his daily work. This set of keys was not in the Suburban
when he drove it.
After Bobby Sexton's disappearance, Al Clark is at the "river," and sees this
set of keys in Patricia's possession. He asks about them and Patricia tells
him "You don't need to know anything about them." Then she threw them
into the river.
Patricia later will point to the fact that Clark "conveniently found" Sexton's
Suburban the day after the murder and drove it home.
1998 - February 22 - Cherokee County Sheriff's Dept. Patricia Sexton tells police
that she'd last seen her husband around 11:15 -11:20 P.M.
on February 20th, when he "left in the truck."
Patricia's grandfather comes across Bobby's Suburban, the interior soaked
in blood. The vehicle is in a wooded area of his property.
Blood samples taken from the Suburban are found to be human blood.
The Sheriff's Department changes the missing persons case into a
. Police begin looking at Patricia, her grandparents, Michael Fielding,
and Willie Wright as suspects in Bobby Sexton's disappearance.
Linda Gail Bingham hears her mother, Dorothy Bingham ask Patricia
"is everything cleaned up, there's no way nobody could find anything?"
She believes that her mother asked Patricia this question in order to
know if "they (police) could find anything that might get them into trouble."
Patricia "Yes. It's all took care of."
She hears the two of them discussing Bobby's death benefits.
1998 - February 24 - Midnight - Deputy Chris White (Cherokee County Sheriff's
Dept.is dispatched to Patricia Sexton's home
on a report of "possible sexual misconduct."
While at the property, Patricia tells him that on the evening of her husband's
disappearance, she and Bobby were at their home trying to reconcile their
marriage. At some point, Bobby became concerned that he had left a light
on in the shop and left the house to go to the shop on foot.
After about 2 hours she became concerned, went outside and discovered
that the Blazer was missing from the driveway. Officer White observes
that there is a Blazer sitting in the driveway.
Patricia tells him she had initially assumed that he'd gone to Jacksonville
to the store, or to visit family or friends.
During the conversation Patricia changed the story and said that Bobby
had left in the Suburban, not the Blazer. Officer White observes that
there is both the Blazer and a Suburban in the driveway.
Patricia tells him that her family had located the Suburban and brought
it back to the trailer. She also tells him that as she and another family
member were inspecting the vehicle, they discovered dried blood on the
BREAK IN THE CASE
Willie Wright is arrested on an intoxication charge. While in custody,
he's questioned. Chief Investigator Mike Daniel asks Wright about
Bobby Sexton's disappearance. Wright tells him to "Go ask Patricia."
Wright finally tells officers that "Michael Fielding shot Bobby Sexton
at the Bingham Wrecking Yard, and that they disposed of the body
in the Neches River.
1998 - March 25 - Wright leads Chief Investigator Mike Daniel (Cherokee County
Sheriff's Dept. to the location where Bobby Sexton's body was
dumped. Authorities retrieve Bobby's remains.
Bobby Sexton was killed with a shotgun blast to the chest.
. Pathologist Dr. Charles Odom "The body was in a moderated state of
decomposition when it arrived in the lab. Having undergone probably
several weeks of decompositional changes with loss of surface hair,
production of malodorous gases from the activity of bacteria working
on the body. And also some depredation scavenging by wild animals
as it laid exposed. So the body was not fresh in the sense that the
individual had not died within the last day, but had died several weeks
before. Well, the principle finding was that there was a gunshot wound
of entry that involved the left chest, a little below the chest and to the
left of the midline but in the rib cage region.
Patricia's mother, Linda Gail Bingham and her boyfriend, Al Clark move
into the trailer with Patricia after Bobby's body is found.
A couple of weeks after Bobby's body is found, she sees his keys in
Patricia's bedroom. The keys consisted of a key ring with maybe three
keys and a wedding band on it. These were the keys to the Suburban
and she recognizes them because she'd seen them before.
Willie Wright is charged with tampering with evidence.
Michael Fielding is charged with murder. He confesses, but tells officers
that Patricia Sexton and her grandmother Dorothy Bingham were the
planners of the murder.
Linda Gail Bingham, threatened with jail time on a drug charge, tells police
about overhearing her daughter, and her mother, planning Bobby’s murder.
Armed with probable cause, police charge Dorothy and Patricia with capital
Patricia Sexton "charged with capital murder by an indictment alleging that
she intentionally or knowingly caused the death of Sexton "by, shooting him
with a firearm, for remuneration or the promise of remuneration from Bobby
Sexton, to wit: proceeds from payments, claims, awards, or benefits due or
expected by Patricia Sexton upon the death of Bobby Sexton." Remuneration
or the promise of remuneration was the aggravating factor causing the offense
to rise to capital murder."
Patricia Sexton will later try to throw blame onto Al Clark by testifying
that "a conversation with Al Clark indicated to me that he had killed
Linda Bingham will testify that she told a defense investigator that she
thought Clark was involved in Bobby Sexton's murder. Also, that Clark
initially agreed to buy drugs, plant them on Bobby and set up a "dope
deal" where he'd be killed. She later testified that she said that Clark
was involved to protect Patricia, and to "stay in the family."
Michael Fielding testifies against Patricia Sexton at her trial in exchange
for a reduced sentence.
Linda Gail Bingham testifies against her daughter Patricia.
Four photographs of Bobby Sexton's remains are shown at trial to the
jury. State's Exhibit 8 shows Sexton's body in the river. State's Exhibits
9 and 12 show a back view and a front view respectively of Sexton's body
after it was pulled from the river. State's Exhibit 13 apparently shows a
closeup view of the gunshot wound in Sexton's chest. Two of the
photographs are 3 and 1/2 by 5 inches, while the others are 4 by 6 inches.
The copies contained in the record are black and white.
On appeal, Patricia Sexton will complain that these photos should not have
been shown to the jury.
The jury finds Patricia Sexton Guilty of the lesser charge of Murder;
Not Guilty of Capital Murder, wich spares her from the death penalty.
She is sentenced to Life in Prison. She is not eligible for parole
until she has served 30 years.
REVERSAL & ACQUITTAL
Dorothy Bingham is convicted but four years into her 30 year sentence
on each charge, on appeal her conviction is reversed and she is set free.
Appeals Court "the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury's findings
that Appellant was guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity and murder."
LIFE IN PRISON
Patricia still maintains that she is innocent.
She also feels that she is....
"A RARE ROSE IN A GARDEN OF WEEDS"
Patricia Sexton speaks of life behind prison bars.
2000 - November 15 - PATRICIA SEXTON VS THE STATE OF TEXAS
MOTION FOR A NEW TRIAL - DENIED