Jun 10, 2013 10:24 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI - The capital murder trial of Laura Day continues Monday morning at the Nueces County courthouse. Day is 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 a maximum of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Today is day 4 of her trial.
LIVE updates as the trial progresses - from Caroline Flores - firstname.lastname@example.org
4:13 Zaferes says the word drowning does not always equal death.
4:10 Zaferes says this case brought up some red flags. The number one red flag was that the person did not call 911 and self transported the victim.
4:08 Zaferes says she found about this case because she found an article about it online.
4:04 Zaferes says she has created a 3 step process on how to investigate water deaths. She says everyone assumes when you find a body in the water, the Cause of death is drowning which many assume is an accident.
3:57 Zaferes says the second leading cause of death for children is drowning.
3:49 Jury is back in the court room. Zaferes is introducing herself to the jury.
3:33 They are taking a short break then the jury will come back in the court room and the judge says Zaferes will be able to tell the jury her expert opinion that Day's case is more similar to a homicide than an accident.
3:27 Zaferes says the testimony of David Syring did not change her opinion. She says she has not watched the news here in Corpus Christi. Les Cassidy (one of Day's lawyer) objects to having Zaferes give her professional opinion to the jury.
3:25 Zaferes says to her best professional opinion, she says she believes this is a homicide.
3:24 Zaferes says she thinks this case is consistent with a homicide.
3:22 Zaferes says all the tests she did with Day's case were based on pure science.
3:20 Zaferes spent about 10-15 minutes speaking about her job, extensive credentials, and history.
3:08 (Jury not in the court room yet) State calls Andrea Zafaeres to the stand. She teaches people how to perform water rescues, what water does to bodies, etc. She is a drowning expert.
2:54 Judge orders a break.
2:49 Stith says drowning is the second leading cause of death for children. Garza says he did not know that.
2:47 Garza says when he has had a drowning victim at the beach, he says the victim always has sand and salt all over him. He says it leaves a mess in the truck. Garza saw a photo of Taylor from the day of his drowning and says he was concerned because he didn't notice a lot of sand or salt.
2:45 State asks if he has been to a drowning call where the body couldn't be located. Garza says yes. State asks why. Garza says the body sinks, the tide can take the body out to the water, and the water is murky.
2:44 Garza says in about 5 years he has encountered 4 drownings, 1 child, 1 teen, and 2 adults.
2:42 Garza says he makes about 15-20 drowning calls a year. But that includes missing someone to possible drownings.
2:41 Garza says their response time to an accident south of Bob Hall Pier would have been 5-7 minutes.
2:37 Garza says in CPR training you learn brain death begins in the body after 6 minutes without oxygen.
2:35 Garza says the station always has paramedics on staff at all times. He says their fire department treats everything from jellyfish stings to heart attacks.
2:33 State asks Garza to tell the jury about the types of interaction he has with the community out on The Island. Garza says people are very friendly and they get a lot of walk-ins at the station. He says some are from parents taking their kids to see the fire trucks and they also have a lot of medical issues that walk into their station. He says they have a mobile intensive care unit, which he says is almost like a hospital on wheels he says it's more than an ambulance.
2:31 Garza says if he got a call from someone in distress and all they said was South of Bob Hall Pier they would just drive until they found the person.
2:29 Garza says Padre Isles Country Club and the new Schlitterbahan are right across from his station.
2:26 State calls Lester Garza to the stand. He is with the CCFD and works at the fire station out on The Island.
2:24 Stith says Day gave her statements to the police before those searches were made. Matrinez says ok.
2:23 State shows an internet search finding. One of the searches were "How to help someone when they are drowning." That search was made after October 5th 2012. "Corpus Christi Drowning" "Sued for accidental drowning" "having baby after 40" were more of the Internet searches he found.
2:22 Martinez says those searches the state is about to show were made after October 5th.
2:13 Judge asks jury to leave the court room so Martinez can find the dates Stith is asking for.
2:12 Stith the state and asks if Martinez knows when those searches were made. Martinez says he does, he just does not know off the top of his head.
2:11 Martinez says he found a user name under Day. He looked at her web history.
2:09 State shows Martinez the report he made. Martienz says the findings the State showed him is from the Dell computer.
2:05 Martinez says he normally investigate Internet crimes against children. He look at 2 computers, a Dell desktop and a Toshiba laptop. The Dell was registered to Day and the laptop was registered to David Syring.
2:02 State calls Rene Martinez to the stand. He is a computer forensic expert with CCPD.
1:30 Judge is meeting with both lawyers about the next witnesses. I was able to find out why the fire alarm went off earlier today. A Sheriff's Deputy told me that workers fixing a fire hydrant outside and tripped a wire that was connected to alarm system in the court house. Nothing too exciting. Sorry folks.
12:06 Break for lunch until 1:30 p.m.
12:05 Leal says she never asked the State for anything in regardess to her plea. Leal says she would testify whether she was in jail or on probation. Leal says Day went out of her way to tell her Taylor was not her son.
12:04 Stith asks if she has been watching the news. Leal says on and off, yes.
12:03 Stith says it seems like you seem very excited to testify against Ms. Day today. Leal says no. Stith says is this because what the state has offered you. Leal says no.
12:01 Leal says when she went home that day, she could not get her and Day's conversation out of her mind.
12:00 Stith says the prosecution told her if she testified she would not go back to jail. Leal says she agreed to testify for herself, as a mother.
11:57 Leal says Day told her, I know I will get bonded out. I won't get left in here.
11:56 Leal says Day brought up having a baby to Leal. Leal says Day told her, "I want to get him a baby, our baby."
11:55 Leal says Day told her her husband forgave her, saying he knew she didn't do anything.
11:55 Leal says Day told her she drove him herself because she thought she could have gotten him to the hospital faster.
11:52 Leal says she asked Day if she called 911. She says Day told her no. Leal says she asked her if she gave the child CPR. She says Day told her she did mouth to mouth but with no compressions.
11:50 Leal says Day never seemed sad. Leal says when talking with Day in the holding cell she asked where it happened. Day told her close to Bob Hall Pier. Leal asked her why there. Day told her that's just where she stopped.
11:49 Leal says Day told her why she was arrested but Leal says she was cold and, "it seemed like it was nobody to her."
11:48 Leal says she was in a holding cell with Day. She says she sat next to Day.
11:46 Evacuation called off, everything is fine. We go back to the court room and the trial resumes. Not sure why the fire alarm went off or who pulled the alarm.
11:36 Fire alarm going off everyone being order to evacuate the building.
11:34 Leal says she has been arrested about 10 times for shoplifting.
11:32 Leal, Day's cell mate, takes the stand.
11:19 Judge orders a short break.
11:17 Ruiz says about 6:00 is when Day left the beach. He says he was speeding, for the beach.
11:16 Ruiz says at the second spot he didn't remember seeing her go to her vehicle. He says he saw her get in the water, but no exit.
11:13 Ruiz says he told police he never saw the child the second time when Day drove closer to where he was. Stith says he told police he wasn't sure if he saw the child at the second spot. Ruiz says no, I didn't see him. Ruiz says he wasn't really paying attention to Day the second time he sees her at the second spot.
11:12 Ruiz tells Stith he contacted police about a week later after he saw Day on the news.
11:11 State shows a photo of Day in a swimsuit and Ruiz says he recognizes her.
11:10 Ruiz says his wife made him call police after he realized he Day was the woman he saw at the beach that day he was fishing.
11:07 Ruiz says he never say he act like she was in distress and he says he never heard her scream for help. He says as she drove away she was driving a little faster than normal. He says she waived hi to him and smiled at him. He says Day never one asked him for help.
11:05 Ruiz says he saw her (Day) go outside and get in the water. He says she was wearing a bathing suit with flowers.
11:02 Ruiz says he saw Day again when she drives closer to where he was fishing. He says he never saw the child after she parked, he says she stayed there for about 20-30 minutes.
11:01 The state asks Ruiz to draw where the pier is. He maps it out. He draws where Day was and where he parked.
11:00 Ruiz says he drove further down to where he couldn't see her (Day).
10:59 Ruiz says he saw Day running into the water backwards as if leading Taylor into the water.
10:55 Ruiz says he was fishing about 3 miles South of Bob Hall Pier. Ruiz says he saw Day when he was driving into the beach. He says she was on the water shoreline with a little kid.
10:50 Leal leaves the court room as Day's lawyers try and get the mental examination report. State calls Rene Ruiz. He was fishing the day Taylor and Day went to the beach.
10:38 Judge takes a short break. Day's lawyers have asked for the mental examination report. On a break to get it.
10:36 Leal takes the stand and says she was cleared by a judge and ruled competent. the judge says he will allow her to testify.
10:20 State calls a woman who shared a jail cell with Day, Elizabeth Leal. Day's lawyers argue she has an upcoming competency hearing.
10:19 Jury leaves the court room.
10:18 David says he told the detective that his and Day's plan was to get custody of Taylor and move away.
10:16 David says the phone calls weren't the only times he spoke to Day, he says they also spoke in person.
10:14 Stith asks if David was trying to get custody of Taylor. David says yes. He says him and Day were working on getting more time with Taylor and had him go over as much as possible. David say Day was helping teach Taylor how to swim.
10:12 Day's attorney (David Stith) asks if Day's vehicle was left at the hospital. David says yes. David says officers searched the car and he says to his understanding they took what they needed.
10:09 State shows David pictures of Taylor and David begins to get upset and looks as if he's about to cry.
10:08 David says he would have kept Taylor's life jacket on if he took Taylor to the beach.
10:08 David says he told the detectives that Day loved the beach.
10:06 David says Day told him as soon as she got Taylor out of the water it was all kind of a blur. David says Day told him her head was sore and David says she told him she might of passed out.
10:04 David says Laura told him she had a constant eye on Taylor. David says his ex-wife had a fear of the water at the beach.
10:03 David says Laura told him to coach some potential witnesses.
10:02 David says Laura told him her attorney advised her that David should not talk to the police.
9:46 Judge orders a break.
9:43 David says Laura isn't a millionaire, she told detectives she was in her taped police interview.
9:42 In David's interview with police he says he asked them, "she can't hear me can she?"
9:42 David says they did normally keep towels in the back for when they would go to the beach in the evening to "make out."
9:40 David choked up as he told the court what Laura told him the day of the drowning. He says Day said Taylor was playing in the water and he was going under the water and popping back up. She says she didn't see him and was waiting for him to pop back up. When he finally did he was further out than where he was so she ran after him.
9:38 David says when she calls him around 6 that there was an accident and she was at the hospital. David says Laura didn't give him any details and she hung up on him. But a nurse calls him back right away and told him he needed to get to Bay Area ASAP.
9:35 State asks if David knew where Day was at when he spoke to her on the phone. He says he believed she was either at McDonalds or near there. State asks if Laura told him she was taking Taylor to the beach. David says no she did not. David says he would have told Laura not to if she would have told him she was taking Taylor to the beach.
9:33 David says Laura has picked up Taylor from school 3 times before.
9:31 State shows pictures of David and Laura's house. David confirms those are pictures of his home.
9:29 State asks David if Friday afternoon Laura was to pick up Taylor from school. David says yes. He also says Laura was unemployed at the time.
9:27 Trial resumes. David Syring is on the stand.