HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Jurors were back in the courtroom Tuesday for the second week of testimony in the trial of Dazrine Chagoya-Williams, the Kyle mom who allegedly murdered her nearly two-year-old son, Mason, in 2018.

A jury will decide whether Chagoya-Williams, alongside her husband and the child’s father, Stevie, is guilty of capital murder in the death of their young son. Stevie was found guilty in October 2021 of the same charge. He is appealing that verdict, court records show.

Previous coverage

Defense brings up ‘demons’

During interviews following Mason’s death, Stevie told investigators with the Kyle Police Department it was actually “demons” or something “evil” that had killed his son. Over the course of Stevie’s interview with police — which was more than an hour long and was played during his October trial in the form of body camera video — Stevie maintained neither he nor his wife were involved in any way in Mason’s death.

Stevie Dwayne Williams, 24, and Dazrine Ruth Chagoya-Williams, 20,
Stevie Williams, 24 (left) and Dazrine Chagoya-Williams, 20 (right)

After some tense back and forth outside of the presence of the jury, the judge in this trial ruled Chagoya-Williams’ attorneys could introduce those comments to the jury through cross-examination of a Kyle PD detective and they did.

The defense is working to prove it was Stevie responsible for Mason’s death, not Chagoya-Williams.

Evidence reportedly lost

Between the time Stevie’s trial ended and Chagoya-Williams’ began, the state said the Kyle Police Department lost the couple’s cell phones. That forced a Brady notice which was discussed first thing Tuesday morning.

The state said Homeland Security was asked to pull information off of those cell phones after Stevie’s trial in October of 2021. When they returned the phones to the Kyle Police Department in December, they were misplaced, the state reported.

“These cell phones are unable to be located at this time,” Detective Joseph Swonke with Kyle PD testified. “It’s still the original data from the cell phones.”

The photos, videos, search history and texts that were pulled off of those cell phones were still presented to jurors, but the defense tried to lead the jury to question the credibility of that evidence during cross-examination.

“If someone wanted to test that phone in this case, at whatever timeframe, right now that’s not available to best tested, correct?” the defense asked. Swonke confirmed, saying they were likely in the evidence room somewhere.

It’s the second time the defense for Chagoya-Williams has been given the opportunity to question a detective with Kyle PD about evidence that went missing in this trial — previously for reports that were not present.

What was pulled from the phones

The state walked through text message exchanges between Chagoya-Williams and Stevie Tuesday afternoon. In those exchanges, they talked about the kids acting up, their relationship with each other and taking care of the kids.

In one exchange, which happened after Mason was returned to his parents by Child Protective Services in 2018, Chagoya-Williams shared concern about Mason regularly crying, at several points describing Mason as “messed up.” She detailed how he screamed to the point of coughing and didn’t want to be put down.

The state also showed text messages between Chagoya-Williams and family members. In some of them, she shared concerns about family members watching or visiting Mason and his sister, baby Dazrine. Others showed a strained relationship between Chagoya-Williams and her family.

“I’m not sure why you don’t want me or my family in your life,” one of the messages from Chagoya-Williams’ half-sister read. “Maybe one day we can have a relationship like we did again. Happy Mother’s Day.”

During cross-examination, the defense also brought text messages before the jury, including a conversation where Stevie shares frustration that the kids like Chagoya-Williams more than him. In the exchange she begs Stevie not to “run away” like his father did.

“You’re killing me and if you think you’re not killing the kids then I don’t know,” she said at one point.

Meanwhile, a Google search history for Chagoya-Williams revealed searches related to an eye injury prior to Mason’s death such as, “why is my eyeball swollen” and “broken blood vessel in eye.” The detective on the stand Tuesday afternoon testified Chagoya-Williams also once searched, “can my baby have more than one soft spot.”

Additionally, the state walked through photos and videos pulled from the phones. In those documentations of Mason’s final months, Mason and baby Dazrine can both be seen with bruises on their faces. One video showed the white of Mason’s left eye was red, as if a blood vessel had burst. Despite the injuries, the babies appear to be happy and chatty in the videos.

“Say ‘what’s up'” Stevie teased Mason in one of the videos. “Wassut,” Mason attempted in return.

New video presented of Chagoya-Williams after her arrest

Tuesday morning, the jury watched a video that showed Chagoya-Williams being transported to jail after being arrested for her alleged involvement in the death of Mason. The parents were arrested 19 days after Mason died.

In the video, which is from a police vehicle, Chagoya-Williams doesn’t say anything nor does she look at her husband, Stevie, who is also in the backseat. She is handcuffed.

State: “Did she {Chagoya-Williams] show any emotion at all?”

Sgt. Daniel Gooding, Kyle PD: “No ma’am.”

What’s to come in this trial

The state only has a handful of witnesses left — four as of Tuesday evening. We expect they could rest their case Wednesday, possibly extending into Thursday. One of those witnesses is baby Dazrine’s adoptive father.

The defense indicated that Chagoya-Williams could testify in her own trial, but did not give a significant nod one way or the other when the judge asked about timing.