06/13/2013 04:40 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - With the capital murder trial of Laura Day now over the mother of the boy who drowned while in the stepmother's care is thanking the community.
We've also learned Kelly Syr… Click to Read More and see additional updates
06/13/2013 04:40 PM by Morgan Frances - MFrances@kristv.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - With the capital murder trial of Laura Day now over the mother of the boy who drowned while in the stepmother's care is thanking the community.
We've also learned Kelly Syring has filed a wrongful death suit against Day seeking one million dollars in damages. Those who watched the trial very closely may recall prosecutors presenting internet searches made by Day after her stepson's death. One of the search strings was 'wrongful death lawsuit' - meaning she knew this was coming.
Yesterday, a jury found Day guilty of capital murder, injury to a child, and child endangerment. She received the mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for the death of six year old Taylor.
"I can spend all day telling you about Taylor," Kelly Syring tells us. "He would crawl in bed and curl up next to me and play with my hair."
For days, Kelly Syring sat and watched as witnesses and experts testified in the capital murder trial. The evidence presented by the prosecution included a recording of Laura Day talking to her husband from jail.
"I'm so excited about our new life together. It's already starting I feel. I do. I feel that. I feel like everything's falling into place like it should. Everything's happening like it's supposed to," she's heard saying.
Taylor's mother told us today she wasn't worried about getting child support or her ex-husband back. "You could have had David. I didn't want him. You leave me and my kids alone."
The last time she saw her son alive will forever stay in her memory. "The day he died, I dropped him off at school. He didn't want me to go to work and he said, you know, 'I need hugs and kiss.' and so I gave him hugs and kiss and he said, 'I need more hugs and kiss.' and so of course I gave him extra hugs and kisses."
That afternoon, Laura Day picked Taylor up from school, got some snacks, then headed to the beach. A few hours later, Day showed up at Bay Area Hospital with his lifeless body. She never called 911 and, according to jurors, did not do enough to prevent his death after he was found in the surf.
Syring says she knows her son felt her love and doesn't regret anything - just the day his dad let Laura Day take Taylor to the beach.
"What person in their right mind would say, 'OK I know you've murdered somebody before in the past but you know what? Take my son. I'm going to let you care for him.'"
Kelly Syring says she forgave Laura Day, but has pity for her. "She's going to have to face God one day. I don't want to be in those shoes."
She also says she'll never forget her 6-year-old son and will forever be grateful for prayers and support she has received from this community.
06/12/2013 04:47 PM by Ben Lloyd - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - A Nueces County jury has found Laura Day guilty of capital murder, child endangerment and injury to a child for the drowning death of her 6-year-old stepson, Taylor Syring. It took the jury about 5 hours to reach their decision this afternoon.
Day receives an automatic life sentence without parole on the capital murder charge.
David Syring had no comment on his wife's conviction as he left the courtroom this afternoon.
Prosecutors worked for five days to convince the jury to convict Day for capital murder, child endangerment and injury to a child.
Her defense team argued that Taylor's drowning was a tragic accident not meriting a conviction on any of the charges against her.
Day told police her stepson drowned when she took him to the beach after picking him up from school on October 5, 2012. She admitted to officers she let him swim without a life jacket, something the defense argued is not uncommon on are beaches.
Day said she was on the beach nearby when she notice Taylor go underwater and come back up unresponsive. She later showed up at Bay Area Hospital with his lifeless body. Day never called 911 and only said she only made a brief attempt at rescue breathing even though she was certified as a diver and in CPR.
Prosecutors used Day's own words to convince the jury that the motive for the murder was getting her stepson out of the way. The prosecution played a phone call she made to her husband while jailed.
"I'm so excited about our new life together. It's already starting I feel. I do. I feel that. I feel like everything's falling into place like it should. Everything's happening like it's supposed to," Laura Day is heard saying.
This is actually Day's second conviction for murder. At age 17, she was found guilty of shooting and killing her boyfriend in California. She earned a degree in psychology while serving 6 years of a 17 year sentence.
Catch up on the drowning case here - http://bit.ly/11tbqJQ
06/12/2013 11:51 AM by Ben Lloyd - firstname.lastname@example.org
CORPUS CHRISTI - A Nueces County jury is now considering a range of charges against Laura Day for the drowning death of her 6-year-old stepson, Taylor Syring, at the beach near Bob Hall Pier.
Prosecutors worked for five days to convince the jury to convict Day for capital murder, child endangerment and injury to a child. If convicted, Day could face anywhere from a relatively short period of time on probation to life in prison without parole.
Her defense team argues that Taylor's drowning was a tragic accident not meriting a conviction on any of the charges against her.
The following is a rundown of today's closing arguments.
11:01 Prosecutor Brittany Jensen says when it comes to children in Nueces County that are hurt by adults, she says you begin investigating and sometimes there is a tunnel and at the end of the tunnel there is a someone like Laura Day who murdered a child. Jensen says Day is guilty.
Jensen walks the jury through the charges. Jensen shows Taylor's life jacket. She says this little life jacket proves that she knew he needed it. Jensen says Dr. Fernandez's call has nothing to do what they do in the court of law. Jensen talks about motive. Jensen says it was proved to the jury that Day had one.
She reminds the jury that David Syring (the boy's father and Day's husband) told police the day of the drowning that his wife was jealous of Kelly Syring (the boy's mother). Jensen says the phone calls alone were her motive. She says Day wanted to be David Syring's everything. Well after Taylor died, she was.
Jensen says just because Day spent money on him doesn't show she cared about him. Jensen says there was only one witness and that was Day, and Day made sure that was how it was. Jensen says Day had a plan to do something she knew she wouldn't be able to do. Jensen says she had the beach stuff in the car when she picked him up from school. Jensen talks about the beach spot she took Taylor. She says if she would have gone to the other side there would have been life guards, picnic tables, it would have been clean. But instead she went the other way, where none of that stuff is.
Jensen says there was no proof that Day actually blew air into Taylor's lungs. The only evidence of that was from what Day said. Jensen says she is certified in CPR, but not just normal CPR, but in CPR with kids. Jensen says Day didn't rush to get Taylor to the hospital, she took her time. Jensen talks about the fire stations, she says "ok, you can't see them from the road but are you telling me someone who has lived on The Island for 15 years doesn't know where the fire stations are?! Hogwash!"
Jensen says Day gave so many explanations that defied science. Jensen talks about Taylor's body popping back up. Jensen says Zaferes (drowning expert) and Dr. Fernandez (medical examiner) says that doesn't happen until after the body decomposes.
Jensen says Day never apologized. Jensen says Day searched "being sued for accidental drowning" on October 9th, before Taylor even had a funeral. Jensen says all these circumstances show there is no reasonable doubt that Laura Day murdered Taylor Syring. Jensen finishes her closing argument with a call from Day talking about how everything is falling into place.
10:21 Les Cassidy (member of defense team) starts off saying this is a horrible tragedy. He says if this case is an accident like most drownings are, turning this case into a capital murder it doesn't help make what happened less tragic.
Cassidy talks to the jury about the burden of proof. He says one thing he was greatly concerned about was whether or not he was going to get a fair trial for Laura Day. He says he believes that the 12 people in front of him will abide by our constitutional process.
Cassidy says a burden of proof in a case runs from 0-100 percent. He says the State's evidence needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. He says ask yourself does the evidence prove that?
He says Day has been cooperative during the entire investigation. He says don't forget that. Cassidy says the officers investigating didn't ask the right questions or good enough follow up questions during the investigation. He says it's appalling to him that the right questions weren't asked.
Cassidy asks the jury to look at the witnesses the state has brought up. That is how weak the state's case is. He talks about Zaferes, the State's expert witness. He shows a photo of where Zaferes says there was a foot print. He says that wasn't a foot print, but a camera glare. He calls her silly and distasteful.
Cassidy says Day's interview is the only thing is what's real. He tells the jury to re-watch the interview. He says the video starts about 10-15 minutes before the interview, he says this is so you can see if her demeanor changes. He says Day's head is down because she is shamed, that is an appropriate response because a child drowned on her watch. He says there is remorse on her part and there is shame. He says like any other person, after a while she wants to get on with her life and move on.
Cassidy talks about the phone messages. He says the jury needs to know when those occurred. He says if the talk about the tax return would have happened it would have occurred on October 6th that would be pretty sick, but if it would have happened months later in April... that's not that bad. Cassidy says Dr. Fernandez was suspicious of a homicide, but he says suspicious doesn't get you here, doesn't get you charged with capital murder. Cassidy says there was never any evidence that if Day called 911 Taylor would have survived.
Cassidy says when the state says Day did nothing to save Taylor - that's wrong. He says she ran out and tried to give him a rescue breath. Cassidy says if you're even wondering if this is reckless, he says no it's not reckless. We've all seen children swimming at the beach without a life jacket.
He told the jury to look at the Medical Examiner's report showing he wasn't drugged or poisoned. He says there were no signs of a fight on Taylor's body. Cassidy says it started off as an ordinary day. She took the life jacket with her. He says it was wet because the child had worn it. He says it was a long time at the beach and a short time in the water. He says she watched him in the water, she didn't abandon him. He says when he went under, she went in after him. He says then she gave him rescue breaths. He says when she couldn't get him to breath she drove him to the nearest hospital. He says we know that the vast amount of drownings are accidental. He says drownings are the number 2 cause of death for children. He ends with saying this was not a murder.
Catch up on all the developments in the case here - http://bit.ly/11tbqJQ
06/11/2013 04:57 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Testimony in the capital murder case of Laura Day wrapped up quickly today without the accused taking the stand in her own defense. Attorneys only called a county parks official and Laura Day's husband to the stand this afternoon.
Closing arguments in the case are expected to get underway tomorrow morning in the case of a stepmother charged for the drowning death of her six year old stepson.
Prosecutors are trying to prove a wide range of charges against Day, including capital murder, injury to a child, or child endangerment. That leaves the jury to consider if the evidence points towards Day intentionally causing Taylor Syring's death, not doing enough to prevent his death, or if the drowning was tragic accident that would lead to a not guilty verdict on all counts.
Jurors heard testimony from the boy's father that if he had any knowledge his new wife intended to harm his son he would have gotten out of the relationship. David Syring also said he and his wife were discussing setting money aside to start a college fund for Taylor.
The county parks official called to testify today by the defense said there were no riptide warnings out on the afternoon of October 5th, 2012. David Cross also told the court it is not unusual to see children swimming at the beach without life jackets.
Laura Day told police her stepson was wearing a life jacket at first, but she let him take it off because she believed he was a good swimmer.
06/10/2013 12:23 PM by Ben Lloyd - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - The husband of Laura Day continued his testimony today in her capital murder trial for the drowning death of 6-year-old Taylor Syring. According to police, Taylor Syring was pronounced dead on Friday, October 5th shortly after his stepmother, Day, showed up at the hospital.
David Syring told the court last week that his wife had not told him beforehand she intended to head to the beach with his son after she picked him up from school for a weekend visit. During that court session, Syring said he would have trusted her to take her stepson to the beach. This morning, he said he would have told her not to take him to the beach. Syring told the court he though about his police interview over the weekend and realized he told officers he would have told her not to take the boy to the beach.
Under questioning from the prosecution, David Syring said his wife did call to tell him there had been an accident, but provided no further details before she disconnected the call. The hospital called Syring back to let him know he needed to get to the hospital immediately.
Syring also admitted that Day had advised him not to speak with police about the drowning and had asked him to speak to several people expected to be called as witnesses if the case went to trial.
According to the father, he and his new wife were working on getting full custody of Taylor with the intention of moving away.
Also on the witness stand this morning was Rene Ruiz. While not a witness to the boy's drowning, Ruiz says he did see Day on the beach near Bob Hall Pier on October 5th. Ruiz says he saw Day with Taylor near the water, but claims she never appeared in distress as she left the beach.
He further stated Day waved 'Hello' and smiled as she drove past. Ruiz claims she never screamed or asked for help. He did not see the woman again until news reports on the drowning some time later, at which time his wife insisted he contact the police about what he saw.
Prosecutors are pursuing charges of child endangerment, injury to a child, and capital murder against Laura Day. She faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted.
06/07/2013 05:20 PM by Ben Lloyd - firstname.lastname@example.org
CORPUS CHRISTI - Prosecutors continue to argue their capital murder case against Laura Day before a Nueces County jury. Judge Bobby Galvan is not allowing cameras in the courtroom as they hear evidence against the woman accused in the drowning death of her 6-year-old stepson Taylor Syring.
Jurors heard jailhouse phone calls today that portrayed Day as cold and calculating. The prosecution is trying to prove a couple of things with these phone conversations. Among them, that the death of Taylor was not a concern to Day.
Detective Mary Pena testified that in one phone call Day had with her husband David, he told her that he had started to clean out what he referred to as "all the junk." Pena says he was referring to a letter Day had sent him asking him to throw away all the kids stuff.
Pena told the jury that it was the first phone call that she listened to that made her want to investigate more. That phone call was between Day and her husband when talking about their taxes.
Day asked David, "How much are we getting back." David says "only 100." Day responds by saying, "What? Why?... Were you able to write off half for Taylor?" David said, "No."
In another call from jail, Day tells her husband "I'm just so excited about our new life together..I feel like everything is falling into place like it should... everything is happening like it should."
Day goes on to say, "I'm glad everybody is gone. It's just you and me now...I just want it to be just you and me."
One other interesting thing Detective Pena pointed out. The detective says in one conversation where Day was talking about the day her stepson died, she didn't refer to Taylor by name. Instead we heard a phone recording of Day saying "that's when the boy died."
Then some of those jail house phone calls took a different turn and became sexual. In one instance Day says, "I can't wait to make love to you love. I'm worried so bad that you're going to be with someone else."
That someone else, according Detective Mary Pena, was David Syring's ex-wife Kelly.
Today's testimony wrapped up with David Syring saying he did not know Day planned on taking Taylor to the beach on the afternoon he died, but he said if she had asked he would have had no problem with the trip.
David Syring is expected to continue his testimony on Monday morning when the trial resumed.
06/06/2013 06:52 PM by Ben Lloyd - email@example.com
CORPUS CHRISTI - Testimony resumed this morning in the capital murder trial of Laura Day. She's charged with capital murder, child endangerment and injury to a child for the drowning death of her 6-year-old stepson Taylor Syring last October. If convicted, she faces up to life in prison without parole. Judge Bobby Galvan is not allowing cameras in the courtroom during trial testimony.
Today, prosecutors showed the jury video of Taylor in a swimming pool with a life jacket on. His biological mother was brought to tears as she watched the video of her son trying to learn how to swim.
Prosecutors say the stepmother, Laura Day, allowed the boy to go swimming out on the beach near Bob Hall Pier without a life jacket even though he was still learning how to swim.
Half of Day's police interrogation video was played for the court before a break for lunch today. Day is seen with her head down as she spoke with CCPD Detective Michael Isle.
She told the detective her husband David had asked her to pick up the boy from school on October 5th. Day says she took him to Jamba Juice and then McDonald's before he asked to go to the beach.
Day told the detective she never goes to the beach, but thought it would be a fun trip with her stepson. She put on Taylor's life jacket, some ear plugs, and a cap for his head before going into the water with him. Day says Taylor asked to take off his life jacket.
She said she went into the water with Taylor at first, but got out because she thought he was a good swimmer. Day told the detective she was laying down on the beach watching him play. Some time later she went to check on him, could see him at first, then found him floating on his back.
During the interview, Day told detectives she was not doing anything that would distract her from watching Taylor swimming in the surf.
Day said Taylor was not breathing so she put him in the car and rushed to the hospital. The 13 mile drive from the beach to Bay Area Hospital took Day past a fire station, three medical clinics and a police substation in Flour Bluff. Bay Area is the closest hospital to the beach.
The fire station is not visible from the highway, the clinics were closed at the time, and the police substation is roughly a mile down Waldron Road. A detective testified that it concerned him Day did not try to call 911 and did not attempt to stop at any of the locations during the trip to the hospital.
Reporter Caroline Flores will continue with her live updates from the courtroom Friday morning on KRISTV.com and KZTV10.com.
06/05/2013 02:53 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jurors in the capital murder trial of Laura Day are hearing the first day of testimony in her trial for the death of her 6-year-old stepson, Taylor Syring.
On October 5th, Syring was brought to Bay Area Hospital by Day. She told hospital officials and police that the boy was swimming at the beach when he went underwater and came back up unconscious. Syring was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The jury must decide Day's guilt or innocence on charges of capital murder, child endangerment and injury to a child.
This morning, the medical examiner testified there was not as much sand on Taylor's body as he would expect from a drowning victim brought to the hospital from the beach. During cross-examination Dr. Fernandez agreed with a defense attorney that there were sandy deposits on the body.
A nurse from Bay Area Hospital later told the court Day said she had rinsed his body off before placing him in her car to rush him to the hospital from the beach near Bob Hall Pier.
A police officer told the court he was sent to retrieve a ring from Day's car. Once inside he noticed a happy meal and sand in the back seat of the car.
Under questioning by a prosecutor, medical examiner Dr. Ray Fernandez says the boy's cause of death remains undetermined. Autopsy photos presented in court show bruising to Taylor's body that are consistent with the palm of a hand.
A defense attorney asked if the palm prints found on Taylor's arm would be consistent with someone scooping the child up to carry them. Dr. Fernandez says that is true.
Dr. Fernandez also told the court that basic toxicology testing on the boy's body came back negative for any type of possible poisoning from common drugs.
As outlined in a police officer's report, hospital officials say Day showed up with her stepson in her personal vehicle. A paramedic carried him inside the emergency room for treatment. ER physician Raphael F. Garcia says he could tell immediately that the boy would likely not survive, but he administered medicines and attempted CPR.
Dr. Garcia and nurses from the hospital testified that in all of the drowning cases they recall the victims were brought in by ambulance. Bay Area is the closest hospital to the beach.
According to Catayna Stanford, a nurse at the hospital, Day told her she thought she heard Taylor trying to breathe on his own as she rushed to the hospital. The nurse also says Day told her she tried to perform rescue breathing, not CPR, before placing the boy in her car.
Corpus Christi police officer Ralph Torres testified that he passed Day as he entered the hospital to start the investigation. She was sitting on a bench and appeared upset, but was not crying. Inside, he saw a woman kneeling and holding Taylor's hand after his death - that woman is his biological mother.
Officer Torres said "I spoke with the biological mom, I could see pain, suffering. When I spoke with Ms. Day, I got a different feeling."
Testimony is expected to last for the remainder of this week and into the next. If convicted, Day faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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