Richard Lyons guilty in 2008 murder of daughter, Mya Lyons, 9

Richard Lyons was found guilty Friday in the 2008 murder of his daughter. Mya Lyons, 9, was stabbed to death.
January 17, 2014 8:36:30 PM PST
Richard Lyons was found guilty Friday in the 2008 murder of his daughter. Mya Lyons, 9, was stabbed to death.

Lyons was charged in his daughter's death in 2011 . He was not initially a suspect, but police and prosecutors say that within days, his story started to unravel and his actions seemed inconsistent with a grieving father. Then, came blood spatter evidence. Those two things together were the case against Richard Lyons.

Lyons' attorneys rested their case without presenting a witness. It took a jury less than two hours to find Lyons guilty.

"This wasn't a stranger, nor was it a maniac that my daughter happened to wander upon. This was her father," said Ericka Barnes, mother.

There was no clear motive for the murder of Mya Lyons, a case built on circumstantial evidence, and most significantly, blood spatter evidence. Traces of Mya's blood found in Richard Lyons' van indicated that Mya was stabbed repeatedly in the van, and that her father had done that to maker it appear as though someone else had murdered his daughter after he had earlier delivered a fatal blow to her head.

"There's two reasons why he stabbed her. He had beaten her and she was still alive, he thought, and he stabbed her to keep her from telling her story. And he also stabbed her in the way he did to make it look like some crazy person wandering through an alley had killed her," said Fabio Valentini, assistant state's attorney.

Lyons sat expressionless after the verdict. His family says the jury had not paid attention, justice was not done, and that he never would have harmed his daughter. But the defense claim that a burglar killed Mya was dismissed by prosecutors as ridiculous. Her mother believes justice was done, but will forever grieve.

"I will never understand why, but my daughter wanted us to know what happened to her. And in that court yesterday, she told her story. And today, he's going to pay. The verdict we've waited for six years: guilty, guilty. And he's going to pay for what he did to my baby," said Barnes.

The state's attorney says the blood spatter evidence was critical in this case, that's what led to Lyons' arrest three years ago this weekend, and his conviction on Friday. Sentencing has been set for February 13.


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