SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — Court proceedings continue Wednesday in Hays County to determine if Stevie Dwayne Williams killed his two-year-old son, Mason.
The young boy’s mother, Dazrine Ruth Chagoya-Williams, is also facing capital murder charges. Her trial is scheduled for the end of this year.
The state was still working through its final witnesses Tuesday evening, a pediatrician will be back in front of the jury for additional cross examination Wednesday morning. After the state wraps up their case against Stevie, the defense will try to convince the jury that Stevie is not guilty. Closing arguments are expected to happen before the end of the week.
A timeline of possible abuse
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.
Tuesday morning jurors heard from pediatrician Dr. Marion Forbes who analyzed Mason’s injuries during that visit to the hospital in 2017. In addition to the burns, Mason was also found to have 13 rib fractures and a wrist fracture. Forbes said the rib fractures were consistent with the force of a child being thrown from a car during a car accident.
Those injuries were the reason Child Protective Services (CPS) opted to remove Mason from his parents in late January 2017, but after Stevie and Dazrine completed the steps necessary to be reunited with Mason, they were again given custody roughly a year later.
CPS previously testified that they stopped monitoring the family in March of 2018. On July 4, 2018, Mason was found dead in the family’s Kyle home.
During Tuesday’s testimony, Forbes also 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.
Forbes said baby Dazrine had more than 20 rib fractures that she believes happened over varying periods of time, a fracture in the shoulder area, a large skull fracture, a kidney laceration and what can be described in non-medical terms as bruising on the heart.
From the mouths of the parents
Over the past week, the state has brought forward several videos showing the couple’s interviews and interactions with police and a video they posted on Facebook in March 2018.
In the video posted to Facebook, which jurors saw Monday, Dazrine says the incident in 2017 was because of a fluke bathing event when a broken water heater and a clogged water pipe caused Mason’s burn injuries.
“It felt like a cover-up,” Dazrine says, as the couple explains the hospital kept changing (and increasing) the extent of Mason’s injuries. “Maybe they hurt him. If it was an accident, it was an accident… Maybe we’ll find out there were never any fractures and it was all a big lie.”
Through the video, Stevie urges viewers to rely on their faith. The couple said their prayers and beliefs that Mason was “touched by God” helped get them through the difficult time.
It was in an interview with detectives at the Kyle Police Department that Stevie was recorded saying “demons” and “evil” were to blame for the young boy’s death in 2018. During the more than an hour-long interview with police, he maintained that neither he nor his wife was responsible.
“Something not worldly hurt our babies,” Williams told police.
One of Kyle’s police officers that was at the scene, Det. Joseph Swonki, testified on Monday. He said Stevie said he “knew for certain demons did it” and gave backstory, saying that the child would stare at walls for long periods of time and that the family had felt an insidious presence often.
Swonki said Williams said they’d even poured holy water on the children.
Here is a list of KXAN’s previous coverage of this trial:
- Monday, Oct. 18: ‘Who killed Mason?” Trial of Kyle dad accused in 2-year-old’s murder resumes
- Friday, Oct. 15: ‘Demons, evil’: Witness testimony for prosecution continues Monday for Kyle parent accused of killing young son
- Thursday, Oct. 14: Family members testify in trial for parent charged with killing young son, blaming ‘demons’
- Wednesday, Oct. 13: 911 call played in trial for Kyle man accused of killing 2-year-old son, blamed ‘demons’
KXAN digital reporter Grace Reader was in the courtroom Tuesday. You can find her Tweet thread below: