New details have emerged on the fate of little Riley Sawyers, “Baby Grace’s” last day.
According to the Houston Chronicle, and details released from a search warrant affidavit, Riley’s stepfather, 24-year-old Royce Zeigler, placed her tiny body in the bathtub of their Spring, Texas, home. He then covered her with a purple towel and closed the shower curtain to prevent her mother from seeing her.
Galveston County sheriff’s investigators were searching for the shower curtain, the bath towel and other evidence when they searched a rented storage unit and the Spring residence of Riley’s mother, Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 19, and her husband, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 24, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit says that Zeigler and Trenor used two leather belts to beat Riley, that her head was held under water, that Zeigler grabbed Riley by her hair and flung her across a room onto a tile floor, and that her face was pushed into a pillow and a couch.
On December 12, Zeigler and Riley’s mother, Kimberly Trenor were indicted by the Galveston County, Texas, Grand Jury on Capital Murder indictments.
It took only three minutes for the Galveston County to decide to charge the mother and stepfather of little Riley Sawyers with Capital Murder in the death of the little two and 1/2-year-old girl.
Kimberly Trenor and Royce Clyde Zeigler II also face charges of tampering with evidence for allegedly putting Riley ‘ body into Galveston Bay.
During the three-hour presentation, the grand jury heard testimony from five witnesses, including the FBI and the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office. Source – DBKP
Zeigler’s defense has already begun, at least by his attorney, Neal Davis III, in the press.
It was Trenor’s statements to the Galveton County Sheriff’s Department which were used to bring charges of Injury of a child and evidence tampering to the couple. Those charges were upgraded by the Grand Jury to Capital Murder.
In the Chronicle article Zeigler’s attorney countered Kimberly Trenor’s version of the events.
Zeigler’s attorney, Neal Davis III, said the information incriminating his client has come from Trenor and that her credibility would be challenged during the trial.
He said he visited the house in the 6800 block of Enns Lane in Spring where Trenor says Riley was beaten and found no evidence to support her accusation that Zeigler picked up Riley by the hair and hurled her across the room.
“There is no evidence to corroborate this story of a towel being draped over her face,” Davis said.
Trenor gave a three hour videotaped interview on November 23. Accompanied by her attorney, Trenor’s statement was used as probable cause in the arrest of both Trenor and Zeigler.
In the Affadavit to arrest Trenor and Zeigler on the charges of Injury of a Child, Trenor maintains that she and Zeigler spent at least 2 – 4 hours “beating” Riley. That she, Trenor, only engaged in hitting her little girl with a leather belt and holding Riley’s head underwater while it was Zeigler who picked Riley up by her hair and threw her across the room, her tiny head hitting the tile floor. Trenor states that Riley was put “face first on her bed” and also “face first into the couch” but no mention in the affidavit of who it was who did this to Riley. According to Trenor, Zeigler gave Riley children’s pain medication and that after Riley was dead, Zeigler laid a “purple towel” over the little girl’s body. Source – DBKP
Davis said he hasn’t seen Trenor’s statement yet, that he will be asking the court to make it available. Davis had also asked the court to allow his own expert witness to view Riley’s body, that the Galveston County Prosecutor hasn’t turned over the autopsy report nor revealed Riley’s cause of death. A hearing is scheduled on January 3rd as to whether Riley’s body can released to her family back in Mentor, Ohio, or be held over for examination.
Davis said he “found no evidence to support her (Trenor’s) accusation that Zeigler picked up Riley by the hair and hurled her across the room.”
We’re not sure how Davis could “find” such evidence. It’s been months since that day back in July when Royce stayed home from work to allegedly teach Kimberly how to “discipline” little Riley.
The day Riley died at the hands of someone in that house. The day that Riley’s body was placed in a plastic storage container bought by both Royce and Trenor. The day they carried that container into the backyard and placed it with Riley inside, into a shed.
The shed where Riley’s body remained, for one month or two, no one is quite sure. Where Kimberly could look out the kitchen window and gaze upon it while she washed the dishes.
In the end we’ll be surprised if it all boils down to one purple towel and who did what with it, that will decide the fate of Kimberly Trenor and Royce Zeigler.
By Little Baby Ginn
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