HAYS COUNTY (KXAN) — Opening comments were made and testimony began Tuesday in the trial for the Kyle woman charged for her alleged role in her two-year-old son’s death back in 2018.
Video not shown in a previous trial gave jurors a look at conversations Dazrine Chagoya-Williams had with police and with family after being told her son was dead. In one of the most emotional moments in court yet in this case, Chagoya-Williams cried while listening to a recording, caught on a police officer’s body camera, of a phone conversation she had with her mom.
A jury will decide over the next couple of weeks whether Chagoya-Williams is guilty of capital murder in the death of her son, Mason.
‘He’s not going to be okay’
Before the day ended Tuesday, the state brought forward body camera footage from a Kyle police officer which showed Chagoya-Williams, 20 at the time, talking with police, with her family and with her husband, Stevie Williams.
“Mason’s not okay and he’s not going to be okay,” she said, apparently talking to a family member on the phone in audio that was picked up by the police officer’s body-worn camera.
In an emotional moment in court, Chagoya-Williams could be heard crying as she watched back a conversation she had with her mom.
“I didn’t even do nothing, mom,” she said in the recording. Chagoya-Williams could also be heard saying “he was fine” and similar statements repeatedly to her mother before asking her mother call back later.
It’s video we did not see during the trial for Stevie Williams, Mason’s father, before he was found guilty of capital murder for his involvement in the young boy’s death. While the same police officer testified, and portions of his body camera footage was shown, Chagoya-Williams’ sections of the video were not brought before the court in that previous trial.
The state brings forward first responders
Tuesday, the jury heard from several of the state’s witnesses including the Kyle dispatcher who spoke to Chagoya-Williams after she called 911 and Kyle first responders who showed up to the scene shortly after. Similar to Stevie’s trial, the 911 call was played for the jury.
“Is he breathing ma’am?” Haley Campbell, a Kyle dispatcher, can be heard cutting in during that recording as Chagoya-Williams starts to explain why they needed emergency help in 2018. “No, no,” she said.
Kyle firefighters on the stand Tuesday described the scene and the demeanor of both parents when they arrived and started giving CPR to Mason. One described Chagoya-Williams as “apathetic,” or not showing emotion. Another said he believed Chagoya-Williams ran into the house when she mistakenly thought first responders had revived Mason.
“It definitely just seemed off,” Johnnie Smith, a former Kyle firefighter who now works in Austin, said of the scene. “I just remember feeling that something was slightly off.”
In the afternoon, an EMT and a paramedic took the stand. Kyle Skinner, the paramedic, said he spoke with both parents in 2018 and described Stevie’s demeanor as “hysterical” but “cooperative.” He said when it came to Chagoya-Williams, “there was no emotion that she showed, it was just…absent.”
The defense argued in cross-examination that during traumatic situations, emotional reactions vary and worked to prove Chagoya-Williams’ reaction was not an indication of guilt.
Unlike during Stevie’s trial, the defense for Chagoya-Williams has the ability to reference testimony from October and regularly did so during cross-examination Tuesday.
“They did not call 911 immediately because they knew they had killed him,” the state started their opening comments Tuesday before laying out for the jury what they could expect throughout the duration of this trial — much of which KXAN has previously reported because it was also presented in Chagoya-Williams’ husband’s trial.
“Well, you heard a lot of details there that really didn’t matter,” Chagoya-Williams’ attorney countered in his opening comments. Her defense is working to prove that the state doesn’t have enough evidence to show Chagoya-Williams was responsible for her son’s death. They are pointing the finger at her husband, Stevie Williams, the child’s dad.
“I think he [Stevie] flipped, or I think he was disturbed,” Chagoya-Williams’ attorney said. “There’s no evidence that she did anything.”
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 that they 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 that 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 that 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 that neither he nor his wife were involved in any way.
According to court documents, many of the same witnesses that testified in Stevie’s trial will also testify in Dazrine’s.
You can follow digital reporter Grace Reader on Twitter for live updates from the courtroom. Those will also appear in our coverage online.