Crime expert: Scene where dead girl found was staged
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter January 16, 2014 6:43PM
Mya Marie Lyons
Updated: February 18, 2014 6:35AM
The grassy South Side lot where Richard Lyons claimed he discovered his badly beaten daughter’s body was a “staged” display that falsely tried to convey that a deadly attack took place there, a renowned crime scene specialist testified in Lyons’ murder trial Thursday.
Based on the blood patterns uncovered in Lyons’ Chevy van, Mya Lyons, 9, was stabbed inside the vehicle while she was in between her attacker’s legs and up against his or her chest, Rod Englert said.
And the spattered substance that appears to be blood on Lyons’ shoes the night of the July 14, 2008 murder indicates that he was near when Mya was penetrated with a sharp object, Englert said.
Lyons told police he found Mya in the lot after she abruptly ran away from his house in the 8400 block of South Gilbert Court.
“There were no bloody footprints, no evidence of a struggle … It was a staged scene,” Englert concluded, bolstering Cook County prosecutors’ theory that the child was placed in the lot after she was asphyxiated and stabbed.
It was Englert’s findings that led to Lyons’ arrest 2½ years after Mya’s murder.
Englert, who used fake blood to show jurors different ways droplets land on surfaces, said the State’s Attorney’s Office paid his firm $80,000 for his expertise.
During cross examination, Assistant Public Defender Christopher Anderson asked Englert to repeat his salary for the case and pointed out that Englert was going on the assumption that dark spots on Lyons’ shoes were blood.
After prosecutors presented Englert — their final witness — defense attorneys also rested without calling anybody to the stand Thursday. “I do not wish to testify,” Lyons, 45, told Judge Vincent Gaughan.
Lawyers are expected to present their closing arguments Friday morning.