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Mya Lyons murder case: Father found guilty of murder

Mya Lyons, killed in Chicago in 2008.
Mya Lyons, killed in Chicago in 2008.
CBS

Mya Lyons murder case ended Friday with the girl’s father – Richard Lyons - being found guilty of brutally murdering his daughter in 2008. The jury took less than two hours to reach the verdict in the Mya Lyons murder case, according to the Chicago Tribune on Friday evening.

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Mya Lyon’s grieving mother, Ericka Barnes, said that this wasn’t a stranger – nor was it a maniac that her daughter happened to wander upon. She said that this was her father, and the fact that he could do something like this to her hurts more so than anything. The mother said that she will never understand why it happened.

Barnes said, “The verdict we’ve waited for six years – guilty, guilty – and he’s going to pay for what he did to my baby.”

The case rested on circumstantial evidence. Evidence in the crime had been erased during the three years that elapsed between the murder and the arrest of the father.

Mya was found murdered in a Chicago South Side alley. Anita Alvarez, Chicago’s State’s Attorney, said that Lyons wasn’t an early suspect in the case. It took time before his story regarding the murder started to unravel. The connection to Lyons was detected by blood-spatter experts. It was said that Lyons staged a fake crime scene which threw investigators off in the case.

Mya Lyons was reportedly visiting her father at his Chicago South Side home – on a secluded dead end street - on July 18, 2008. Mya and her brother came home at approximately 11 p.m. that night after playing at a neighbor’s home. After returning home, the girl was slammed into a metal post underneath the back stairs of the home, leaving an imprint from a lockbox that was connected to the post on the back of her arm. She was beaten and strangled during the murder.

Prosecutors assert that even though the girl was already dead, Lyons took a butcher knife from the kitchen – as there were three missing from the kitchen in his home – and stabbed his daughter 13 times in the neck, stomach, and chest. Then he took her body up the block and dumped it away from houses near a vacant lot. He later screamed in the alley – as if he had just found her murdered - put his daughter’s body in his van and took the body to the Jackson Park Hospital.

A week later, investigators started analyzing the possibility of Lyons being the murderer. By then, much of the evidence had been cleaned up.

Prosecutors pointed out to the jury that there was no blood trail in the alley, no footprints with blood, and no sign of a struggle – or blood splatter. The blood splatter expert, Rod Englert, was a star witness who testified that blood splattered on the seats inside the van and on Lyons’ white tennis shoes had to have come from the time when the girl was stabbed.

Though Christopher Anderson, Lyons’ attorney, called Englert a scam artist who was working for the county and being paid well by the county, the jury found Lyons guilty as charged.