By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — A father convicted of killing his young daughter was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Friday.
Richard Lyons will serve the time for the brutal 2008 murder of his 9 year-old daughter, Mya Lyons.
Richard Lyons dumped her body in a dilapidated lot near his home in order to hide his actions.
Mya Lyons’ mother, Ericka Barnes, read a powerful statement in court Friday about the life she has endured since her daughter’s murder.
“I wake up every night with tears in my eyes because of what my baby had to endure,” she told the court.
The 9-year-old’s grandfather says Lyons’ maximum 60-year prison sentence is just.
“The family can go on. And truly this has been a great day,” Orlando Barnes told reporters.
In court, Lyons looked nervous and often stared blankly. He told the judge, “No, your honor,” when asked if he had anything to say before sentencing.
Lyons’ ruse after the slaying initially confused police, but his story began to unravel. 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, prosecutors said at his trial in January.
Although investigators do not know what caused Lyons’ to choke, beat and repeatedly stab his daughter, it is clear there was some confrontation.
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 another killer.
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 said.