Victim's 911 call reveals final seconds, fatal shot

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 1 at 10:14 PM

FORT WORTH — Jurors heard the final few seconds of Eric Forrester's life play out in Tarrant County Criminal Court Tuesday. Prosecutors played a 911 call placed by Forrester just seconds before he confronted two intruders in his family's home.

Fort Worth police said Forrester dialed 911, put the phone in his pocket, and encountered the alleged burglars — Broderick Patterson and Clifton Elliott.

For reporters in the courtroom, it was difficult to understand exactly what was said, but the emotion of the moment was apparent.

There was yelling, with a 911 operator interrupting with a repetitive "Hello?" That was followed by a loud "bang," a pause, then screaming and yells of disbelief.

Detective Michel Carroll said the audio was analyzed an enhanced by slowing it down. He said he heard Forrester confront the accused burglars. He said Patterson and Elliott showed a gun, demanded a bag to carry stolen laptops, and one of them fired the fatal shot.

Detective Carroll said to this day, no one knows who fired that shot. The voices of the suspects are too similar to distinguished, but one voice is clearly upset that a gun was fired and wants to know why.

Patterson has pleaded guilty to his role in the crime, but his attorney is asking the jury for less than a life sentence. She tried to point to Elliott as the person who brought the gun by reading text messages between the two suspects.

While waiting for his trial for the 2010 murder, Elliott has said Patterson brought the gun and fired the shot.

Police said the gun has never been found, and while they may never know who really pulled the trigger, both are accused of murder because Forrester died during a violent crime.

Jurors also heard an audio file of Patterson's police interview in April 2010. When told about the 911 call, Patterson admitted to being in the house, but denied firing the gun.

He said he saw news coverage of the murder and said Forrester "seemed like a good kid" who "didn't deserve to die."

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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