Posted: Jun 5, 2013 2:53 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2013 7:02 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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