HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The third day of testimony was cut short Thursday in the trial of Dazrine Chagoya-Williams — the young Kyle mother who allegedly murdered her nearly 2-year-old son, Mason — after witnesses reportedly came forward with new information.
A jury will decide over the next couple of weeks whether Chagoya-Williams, alongside her husband and the child’s father, Stevie, is guilty of capital murder for a 2018 case. Stevie Williams was found guilty in October 2021 of the same charge. He is appealing that verdict, court records show.
The state said Thursday, roughly an hour before the jury normally breaks for the day, that Stevie’s mother and grandmother had made new statements during a break that warranted a witness statement to be written and for it to be handed to the defense. What exactly was said was not disclosed. The jury will return Friday.
- Wednesday: ‘Something attacked him’: Trial continues for Kyle mom in alleged fatal child abuse case
- Tuesday: ‘Mason’s not okay’: New video shown in trial for Kyle mom who allegedly killed 2-year-old son
- October 2021: Kyle father who said ‘demons’ killed 2-year-old found guilty of capital murder
‘Did your grandson, Stevie, believe in demons?’: Jury hears from family
Stevie’s grandmother, Helen Jackson Franks, got emotional on the stand Thursday afternoon after being asked about her conversations with Kyle Police Department detectives in 2018.
The defense asked Franks if she said the kids sometimes had bruises from playing or laying on their stomachs. Franks became visibly upset and told the jury she did not remember making those comments.
Before fully exiting the courtroom, Franks made a comment about how that “isn’t true” loud enough that Judge Bill Henry instructed the jury not to consider anything but sworn testimony in their decision.
The defense also asked Franks about whether Stevie believed in demons. We learned in October that Stevie told police that it was “demons” or something “evil” behind his son’s death. The defense in Chagoya-Williams’ trial is working to prove Stevie was responsible.
Defense: “Did your grandson, Stevie, believe in demons?”
Franks: “Not to my knowledge, not at all.”
CPS employee testifies
Jurors heard from an employee with the Texas Department of Family Protective Services Thursday morning. Child Protective Services is a division within DFPS.
Antonio Zamora was assigned Mason’s case in July 2017. At that point, Mason had already been removed from his parents because of injuries discovered shortly after Mason was born. Those injuries are likely to be detailed for the jurors in Chagoya-Williams’ trial over the next few days, they were previously discussed in Stevie’s.
In December of 2017, a court ordered Mason be returned to his parents through a “return and monitor” process, meaning Mason was given back to his parents but CPS was checking in on the family in both announced and unannounced visits. In March of 2018, DFPS was dismissed in Mason’s case.
“That would mean the department is no longer involved with the family and the case would close,” Zamora said. Mason died on July 4, 2018.
Kyle detective cross-examined
Thursday morning, jurors heard remaining testimony from a Kyle Police Department detective. The defense continued where they left off Wednesday afternoon, cross-examining her about what reports have and have not been presented to the defense. The detective alluded to an issue she may have had with a report uploading system in 2018.
KXAN digital reporter Grace Reader is in the courtroom and will be live-tweeting updates from the trial, you can find those updates below:
Stevie’s family apparently made statements during the break to one of the state attorneys that warrants a written witness statement and for it to be handed to the defense.— Grace Reader (@GraceReaderTV) April 28, 2022
The judge excused the jury for the day.
Timeline of events
The following timeline came from Stevie’s trial in October:
Mason was born in October 2016 to Dazrine and Stevie. Only a few months later, in January 2017, Mason’s parents brought him to Dell Children’s Hospital because of burns the parents reportedly told doctors were accidentally caused during a bath. During his examination at the hospital, Mason was found to have fractures — one in his wrist and 13 in his ribs.
Those injuries were the reason Child Protective Services (CPS) removed Mason from his parents in late January 2017. After Stevie and Dazrine completed the steps necessary to be reunited with Mason, they were again given custody roughly a year later.
CPS testified it had stopped monitoring the family in March 2018. On July 4, 2018, Mason was found dead.
Evidence brought forward by the state included photos and videos from first responders of the scene where Mason was found dead, recorded interviews with Stevie following Mason’s death, photos and videos pulled off the couple’s phones and x-rays and photos taken of the injuries to both Mason and his younger sister.
Mason’s autopsy revealed his chest had been constricted to the point he could not breathe, cutting off oxygen to the brain, which ultimately caused his death. He was also found to have other internal and external injuries.
During testimony in Stevie’s trial, a pediatrician from Dell Children’s talked about her evaluation of Mason’s younger sister, also named Dazrine, after she was brought to the hospital by CPS the day after Mason’s death. She was eight months old at the time.
Baby Dazrine also had injuries. She had a large skull fracture and 22 rib fractures, among other internal and external injuries.
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 for the jury — Stevie maintained neither he nor his wife were involved in any way.
According to court documents, many of the same witnesses who testified in Stevie’s trial will also testify in Dazrine’s.