KYLE, Texas (KXAN) - Christina Lyons, owner of the Little Lyons Cub Day Care, will serve a sentence of life in prison for the capital murder of a 10-week-old boy.
A jury convicted Lyons on Monday in the Thanksgiving 2010 killing of Benjamin Spencer.
Even though it was a capital murder case, prosecutors never sought the death penalty. Instead, Lyons will be serving life in prison without parole.
Lyons was the only adult home at the time, but her lawyers and family members tried to convince the jury that it was Lyons' 4-year-old daughter who caused Benjamin's death when she was playing too rough with him. Defense attorneys said it happened all while Lyons stepped out to smoke a cigarette.
After two weeks of evidence, attorneys made their closing arguments on Friday morning. The prosecution told jurors that the verdict and the sentence would be Spencer's last chance at justice.
A Hays County grand jury indicted Lyons, 33, on Feb. 3, 2011 in connection with Benjamin's death. He died after being sent to Dell Children's Medical Center with severe head injuries from a Kyle day care center in November.
Benjamin's parents dropped the baby off at Lyons' home day care, and the next time they saw him, he had suffered a massive head fracture -- an injury he died from.
During the trial, doctors testified that his head looked as though it had been slammed against a solid surface and that only an adult would have the strength to cause that kind of injury. They said it does not look like the injuries were consistent with a fall.
Authorities arrested Lyons on Nov. 19, 2010 after police said she injured the baby boy. Initially, Lyons was charged with injury to a child, a first-degree felony.
Lyons had been released on a $50,000 bond. And while the charge against Lyons did not change, officials increased the bond to $500,000.
She returned to the Hays County Jail on Dec. 2, 2010 after she turned herself in to authorities.
Kyle police responded to the day care Nov. 18, 2010 after Benjamin was taken to the hospital with swelling to the head region. EMS crews told police the boy was unresponsive and was being helped with his breathing.
The boy underwent surgery due to severe head trauma, and the trauma surgeon later told police the infant also had multiple rib fractures.
Lyons reportedly told police she ran the home day care, where she cared for six other children, and was the only adult inside the home at the time of the incident.
The day care owner told police she left Benjamin on a sofa in the living area unattended while she used the restroom and said that she saw him on the hardwood floor lying face up when she returned, according to court documents. The round-shaped, mid-sized sofa was reportedly about 20- to 24 inches tall.
Lyons told police she saw swelling on the left side of Benjamin's head area and tried to contact several of his family members before then calling 911.
Investigators said last week that the information Lyons gave them about how the child was hurt does not match the injuries the child suffered, and medical officials told police that given the severity and location of the injuries, they were likely not accidental.
The Little Lyons Club Daycare was registered in December 2009 and has had a clean record up until this incident.
Following the incident in November 2010, the Department of Family and Protective Services notified other parents of the incident and closed the daycare until the investigation could be completed.
DFPS has a database where parents can examine the backgrounds of child care centers on their website.
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