Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One down, one to go

Riley Ann Sawyer was two years old when she was brutally murdered. She was beaten with belts, thrown across the room and dunked into a tub full of cold water. Her battered lifeless body was then stuffed in a trunk, hidden in a storage shed and then later thrown into the ocean. Who would do such a thing to a precious child? According to prosecutors in Galveston County it was her mother and her step-father.

After two hours of deliberation a jury found Kimberly Dawn Trenor guilty of capital murder. Trenor’s husband Royce Clyde Zeigler II is still jailed and awaiting his trial.

Trenor claims she did not kill her daughter. She says it was all Zeigler. Jury members were not swayed by her testimony. Randall Rothschild, the jury foreman, said emotion did not play a role in the verdict and they believe justice was served. I completely agree.

When the remains of the toddler were first discovered on Galveston Island my heart went out to whomever the baby belonged to. I felt so sorry for the family of the baby they had dubbed “Baby Grace”. I thought some terrible person had taken this child, tortured her and then cast her away like she was a piece of trash. I never imagined it was her own mother that was the guilty person.

Then several weeks after the trunk containing little Riley’s body had washed up on shore, Riley’s grandparents saw an artists sketch on TV and called authorities because they believed the picture looked liked their granddaughter. Sadly they were right.

Trenor received life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. It is required to prove that the person on trial would be a future danger to seek the death penalty and they didn’t believe they could prove that. That’s something I just don’t understand. If they’ve killed once isn’t that enough? I could see if it was a case of accidental death but this certainly was not. Riley was attacked and murdered out of anger. There’s nothing accidental about that. If I had my way, Trenor would be sitting on death row.

On the web: Texas jury convicts mother in 'Baby Grace' slay


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