Trial begins for man accused of killing 19-month-old child

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The trial of a Sioux City man accused of killing his partner’s 19-month-old daughter began Thursday morning.

Tayvon Davis is accused of abusing 19-month-old Maelynn Myers over a period of months in 2018. Prosecutors claim one of those incidents resulted in her death. Davis faces several charges, the most serious being first-degree murder.

Prosecutors say Davis was the live-in boyfriend of Maelynn’s mother, Shannon Myers. During opening statements, prosecutors admitted Maelynn had ongoing health issues, but they claim the catastrophic injuries she sustained must’ve been caused by Davis.

“Maelynn’s kidney was detached, it wasn’t receiving a blood supply. She’s going to tell you the injuries she saw in Maelynn’s eyes and brain were equivalent to what would be seen in a high-speed car crash,” said Prosecutor Kristine Timmons.

The defense told the jury Maelynn had previously been diagnosed as “failing to thrive,” and pointed to a series of illnesses she suffered during her life. They say the evidence will show Davis had nothing to do with her death, and that Maelynn was so sick prior to her death that not even doctors could provide a full diagnosis.

“This was a very sick baby that the doctors couldn’t physically or medically figure out when she was alive,” said Jennifer Solberg, the attorney for Davis. “They can determine even less after she has died.”

After the opening statements, the jury heard from several prosecution witnesses.

At one point, Maelynn’s grandma took the stand and described the moment Davis showed up at her house with an unresponsive child.

“What was Mr. Davis’ demeanor?” asked the prosecutor.

“Panic, he seemed... you could tell something was wrong. Maelynn was in his arms with her head resting on his shoulder,” replied Jamie Myers, Maelynn’s grandmother.

Testimony Thursday finished with the doctors and nurses who treated Maelynn. In one exchange, a nurse said Davis never asked how Maelynn was doing during her treatment.

The trial will continue Friday, with the prosecution continuing its case. After that, it will be the defense’s turn to make their case to the jury.

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