CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County jury Friday found a South Side man guilty of brutally murdering his 9-year-old daughter and then dumping her body in a dilapidated lot near his home in order to hide his actions.
Richard Lyons’ ruse after Mya Lyons’ slaying initially confused police, but his story of what unfolded the night of July 14, 2008, didn’t stand the test of time, prosecutors Fabio Valentini and Maria McCarthy said during closing arguments.
Mya Lyons’ mother, aunt and other family members, sobbed uncontrollably after hearing the guilty verdict.
“He’s going to pay,” said Mya’s mother, Erica Barnes.
The jury took less than two hours to find Lyons guilty.
“It’s a farce,” Valentini said of Lyons’ account of discovering his stabbed and asphyxiated daughter in a pool of blood.
“It’s a bogus story. It’s a stupid story told by a killer trying to walk away.”
But Assistant Public Defender Christopher Anderson said the only person telling a “story” was the prosecutors’ star witness.
Anderson, who suggested Mya was killed by burglar, reminded jurors that blood-spatter expert Rod Englert was paid close to $100,000 to create a “farce” leading to Lyons’ arrest 2½ years after the crime.
“Girls are abducted and brutally killed. Burglaries do happen,” Anderson said.
Englert “would sell” his theories to the prosecutors and “kept charging” prosecutors for it, Anderson said.
“Don’t take it out against him because they [prosecutors] want justice. Everyone wants justice,” the defense attorney said looking at Lyons, 45.
“So does he.”
Prosecutors said all Lyons wanted was to cover his crimes.
The moment he slammed Mya against a lock box tied to a pole behind his house, in the 8400 block of South Gilbert Court, Lyons started concealing evidence, McCarthy said.
Although investigators do not know what caused Lyons’ to choke, beat and repeatedly stab his daughter, it is clear there was some confrontation.
“Maybe he was angry because she came home late. Maybe she said something he didn’t like. We don’t know, but he was furious and he snapped,” the prosecutor said.
Once he beat Mya, he immediately went into “self-preservation” mode, took her into his van, stabbed her and then put her body in the desolate alley to make it appear as if there was a “crazed killer,” McCarthy said.
Lyons changed his clothes before taking her to the hospital and the blood spatter on his shoes indicated he was there when Mya was stabbed, prosecutors told jurors.
“He stabbed Mya because he didn’t want her to tell her story of the beating he inflicted on her,” Valentini said.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)