Jurors have begun deliberating the fate of Richard Lyons in the murder of his daughter Mya after hearing 80 minutes of closing arguments today from attorneys on both sides.
Assistant State’s Attorney Maria McCarthy began by telling jurors that she would spare them from seeing more gruesome photos of the brutal injuries inflicted on the 9-year-old girl.
“You’ve seen enough,” she said in a near-whisper. “The hardest part of your job is accepting that a parent could do that to their child.”
She said Lyons repeatedly stabbed his daughter after beating her death outside their home when she came home late with her older brother from a friend’s house.
“He knew (she was dead) when she crumpled to the ground,” she stold jurors.”He immediately jumped into self-preservation. He decided he was going to make it look like some crazed killer killed his daughter.”
But Christopher Anderson, Lyons’ lawyer, said prosecutors fell far short on their evidence, providing no motive for why Lyons would brutally kill his daughter and no proof that in fact did. Instead prosecutors depended on testimony of a blood-spatter expert witness he referred to as a "scam artist.”
"Rod Englert sees what they want and he sells it to them (prosecutors),” Anderson told jurors. “...He's working this scam on the state."
Anderson noted how prosecutors had said in their openings that Lyons had put on a show to throw off investigators, but he said it was Englert who put on a show of his own in court, demonstrating how blood spatters with stage blood tossed on white cardboard.
But he said the linchpin of Englert’s analysis – apparent blood spatter on Lyons’ shoes captured only in a photograph – could never be tested.
"He is the show. You saw it here...but he didn't even do an experiment with the one thing that really matters,” he said.
Anderson said Lyons didn't try to hide anything, cooperating with police that night by giving them keys to his van.
Prosecutor Fabio Valentini finished arguments by saying that Lyons’ story doesn’t hold up.
"It's a compelling story. I think I saw it in a TV movie one time. But then you look at the details and it doesn't really fit…It's a story told by a killer trying to walk away."
"If you follow the evidence it shreds his story," Valentini said. “…Mya told you her story with her blood...Mya Lyons’ blood is in places it should not be."