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Jurors hear about dad's state of mind after son went missing

Thursday, October 20, 2011
Roderick Fountain Roderick Fountain

Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of Roderick Fountain, the Houston man accused of killing his 3-year-old son, Kendrick Jackson, five years ago.

On Thursday, jurors heard more about Fountain's state of mind during the search for his son. On the stand Thursday was a man who prosecutors say claims he heard someone being beaten the night before Jackson disappeared. The man lived in the same apartment complex where the little boy was spending the weekend with his father.

Throughout the day, Fountain remained expressionless during the trial, and that seemed to figure into the case.

Jackson would be eight years old now, but his image remains frozen at age three when he disappeared while spending the weekend at his Fountain's apartment. The boy's body has never been found. Despite that, Fountain was charged with his son's murder and now he's on trial.

Fountain has been in jail since shortly after Jackson's disappearance. He sat quietly in court listening to police officers testify Thursday -- those who searched for the boy, those who questioned -- and what they said was a composed and seemingly untroubled father who waited several hours before reporting his son missing.

Quoting a now undercover HPD detective who first spoke to Fountain: "He just mentioned the child was lost and he'll be fine."

That detective went on to say: "That was five hours after he was missing."

Later in the investigation, Fountain was taken in voluntarily for questioning which was recorded on video and shown to the jury Thursday. He described his son, told police that he knew of no one who would want to hurt him by taking his son. He talked fast at times, but never appeared distraught.

"That would be important in a case where the father constantly had control over the child or was constantly with the child. Here, rarely did he see his child. This happened to be the one occasion, that weekend, where he did," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.

During that police interview, Fountain told police that although he was married with two children he was still having a relationship with Kendrick's mother. He said he wasn't involved with any other women.

    Prosecutor: Did you later learn about other women he was having relationships with?
    Detective: Yes I did. He later said he was at several other women's houses that night and he had his son with him.
    Prosecutor: And did you ask him why he didn't tell you that, even as his son was missing?
    Detective: Because he didn't want to be caught having affairs. He didn't want his infidelity exposed.

At least four other women were identified by name in court.

On Friday, a federal inmate who met Fountain while he was jailed on a weapons charge is expected to take the stand and is expected to say that Fountain confessed to killing his son and hiding the body where it could never be found.

Fountain's lawyers say the prosecution's case is circumstantial.

If convicted, Fountain could spend life in prison for felony murder.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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