HAYS COUNTY (KXAN) — The second day of testimony concluded Wednesday in the trial of Dazrine Chagoya-Williams, the young Kyle mother who allegedly murdered her nearly 2-year-old son, Mason, in 2018.
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. Stevie Williams was found guilty in October 2021 of the same charge.
‘Something attacked him or something’
In body camera video that wasn’t seen during Stevie’s trial, the jury for Chagoya-Williams was shown an interview between her and a Kyle Police Department detective where Chagoya-Williams described a normal day suddenly going wrong. The interview happened in the front seats of the detective’s car a few hours after Mason was found dead.
Chagoya-Williams started the interview by running through the family’s day: Her two babies woke up, bathed and ate, played and then went down for an afternoon nap. The mother said her daughter woke up first and the parents let Mason continue to sleep. She said her husband was the first to realize something was wrong.
“They went to sleep like any other day and he [Mason] just didn’t wake up,” she said. During the roughly 15-minute interview, Chagoya-Williams did not appear to cry.
Chagoya-Williams told the detective she didn’t notice bruising on Mason before his nap, but that when he woke up, “it looked like something, something attacked him or something.”
“I just want to know what happened,” Chagoya-Williams told the detective. Stevie later told police that he believed it was demons or something evil that injured Mason, not him or his wife.
Before getting out of the detective’s unmarked car, Chagoya-Williams asked when the family would be allowed back inside their home because she was “just worried about her daughter.” Mason’s body was still inside at this point.
Law enforcement testifies
The state began Wednesday morning with the remaining testimony from Kyle police officer Arturo Cardona who first took the stand Tuesday. Another Kyle police officer, Jerritt Bean, also testified.
In body camera video from Cardona, which was presented by the state and showed the scene in 2018, Chagoya-Williams can be heard saying to Stevie: “You okay babe? It’s not gonna change nothin’.” Only sections of the four-hour video were shown.
During cross-examination, the defense also showed portions of Cardona’s video — one where Mason’s body was being removed from the family’s home. Chagoya-Williams is seen crying and being hugged by victims’ services. Stevie is not seen, something the defense asked Cardona about.
Chagoya-Williams is also heard speaking with family members on the phone after learning her son had died, which is captured in body camera video: “I don’t know how though, Grammie,” she said. “He didn’t get up.”
Sections of body camera video from Bean — portions which were not shown in Stevie’s trial — were also admitted into evidence Wednesday. Those showed Bean’s brief conversations with Chagoya-Williams.
Defense hones in on finger-sized bruises
Along with Bean’s body camera footage, the state introduced evidence photos taken by the Kyle police officer of the scene — including photos of Mason’s body after life-saving measures were stopped. One of the jurors asked for tissues and appeared to get emotional while those pictures were being shown, as others scribbled notes.
Chagoya-Williams’ attorneys drew the jury’s attention to photos of bruises on the infant’s chest. Several witnesses have described those bruises as looking like “fingerprints.” The state has not asked as many questions about those bruises in this trial as they did in Stevie’s.
The defense asked Bean several questions in cross-examination about why the bruises on Mason’s ribs were not matched to the parents’ hands during the investigation. Chagoya-Williams has notably small hands, they said during opening comments.
The state countered, asking Bean if he’s trained to measure people’s fingers with bruising, to which the officer responded he did not. They asked if it’s common to have that training, Bean said no.
The defense likened the finger-sized bruises to a footprint at a scene and attorneys from both sides went back-and-forth about those bruises several times with the officer. A detective was also asked if during an investigation she could determine an exact suspect based on finger-sized bruises — she ultimately said no.
The jury sent home, will be back at 9am.— Grace Reader (@GraceReaderTV) April 27, 2022
Defense still in the courtroom trying to sort out what documents they might be missing.
The state will basically be tasked with figuring out what the issue was/how long it existed/what’s missing or not.
- 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
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.