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Denton man now faces murder charge in death of his children's mother

Xavier Patterson, 28, was initially arrested on an aggravated assault charge in the killing of Meagan Darling, 30. A murder charge was added Tuesday.
Credit: Denton PD
Denton police arrested Xavier Patterson after a woman was found dead of an apparent gunshot wound on Jan. 10, 2020.

DENTON, Texas — A Denton man claimed the death of his children's mother was an accident, according to police records. 

Xavier Patterson, 28, was initially arrested on an aggravated assault charge after 30-year-old Meagan Darling was shot and killed Friday in her home on Carrigan Lane in Denton. 

Investigators filed a murder charge after they found evidence inside the home that contradicted Patterson's story, police records show.

Friends and family say Patterson was Darling's on-again, off-again boyfriend and the father of her two youngest children, a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old. 

Those children are now in foster care, according to Child Protective Services.

The Denton County Medical Examiner said Darling was shot in the head.

Officers responded to a 911 call around 7:35 p.m. Friday. Police said Patterson placed a call to 911 and then hung up. When officers arrived, one of the children in the home said their mother was dead. 

Patterson was found inside a closet with several knife wounds to his neck, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. 

When officers initially interviewed Patterson, he told police the shooting was an accident, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. He said he and Darling argued over the amount of time he had just spent in the bathroom. 

According to the documents, Darling kicked Patterson out of the house.

At first, Patterson told police he started packing a bag and had retrieved a handgun from a safe. Then he and Darling got into a physical struggle while he was holding the gun. The gun went off, and Patterson said he panicked, the affidavit says. 

Documents show Patterson said he “wanted to commit suicide because he knew no one would believe the shooting was an accident because he was a black man and she was a white woman.”

Patterson told detectives he instructed his son to wait until he was dead to call the police. Patterson claimed he wrote down the passcode to his phone for his son so that his son could later call 911, the affidavit says.

However, detectives searched the home on Carrigan Lane and didn’t find a bag with Patterson’s belongings or a document with his cell phone passcode.

Detectives re-interviewed Patterson, who said he was “about to start packing a bag” when he grabbed his gun. He said he was upset because the couple fought often, police records say. 

Patterson said, “he and Darling would break up and after a couple of days, he was back in the house," according to the affidavit.

During the second interview, Patterson said Darling grabbed his arm and they “began to tussle,” falling on the bed. He told detectives he stood over Darling, “while pointing the gun at her.” That’s when Patterson said Darling “slapped towards the gun, hitting it and caused the gun to go off.”

Patterson remains in the Denton County jail. A vigil was held Sunday night in honor of Darling.

The family has set up a GoFundMe, which can be found here.

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