Texan Guilty in Murder of Children’s Mother


Xavier Patterson | Image by Denton County Jail

Xavier Patterson of Denton was found guilty of the 2020 murder of Meagan Darling, the mother of his children, last Friday.

The jury deliberated for approximately nine hours before submitting a verdict, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.

According to testimony given by Patterson and Darling’s eldest son, the victim was shot and killed while the two were fighting over a gun on the evening of January 10, 2020.

The punishment phase of Patterson’s trial is now underway, and his past convictions will likely ensure he gets more time as part of a sentencing enhancement in accordance with Texas state law.

Patterson was previously convicted of “tampering with or fabricating physical evidence” in 2015, a third-degree felony for which he received probation, which he did not successfully complete, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Following his probation violation, he served two years in state prison.

Other prior misdemeanor offenses for which Patterson was convicted include drug crimes, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.

Because of these prior convictions, Patterson faces a 15-year minimum sentence. According to the Denton Record-Chronicle, Patterson intends to challenge the enhancement requirement.

Michael Graves, one of the assistant district attorneys prosecuting the case, spoke with The Dallas Express to give insight into the sentencing.

“I rarely, if ever, tell a jury what to do in terms of sentencing. What we do is just present our evidence and then ask them to make the appropriate sentence,” said Graves.

“If you have been to prison once before, then it does bump up the minimum part, and if you have been to prison twice before, it bumps up even further. He hasn’t, but had he been to prison twice before, his minimum would be 25 [years] instead of 15. If he had never been to prison, it would have been five,” said Graves.

During the trial, Darling’s family and friends testified about her death’s impact on their lives.

An ex-girlfriend of Patterson’s also testified about his alleged history of using threatening and intimidating behavior.

While Denton does not usually see too many murders because of its relatively small size, Dallas has seen a significant spike in criminal homicides since the beginning of the new year.

As of February 2, Dallas police logged 23 murders, a roughly 10% increase over the same period last year, according to the latest crime data briefing by the Dallas Police Department.

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