Trial to Start Against Dad Accused of Killing Daughter

Mya Lyons was found stabbed in an alley in July 2008

By BJ Lutz
|  Monday, Jan 13, 2014  |  Updated 7:52 AM CDT
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Richard Lyons and Mya Lyons (inset)

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Proceedings were expected to begin Monday in the first-degree murder trial of a Chicago man accused of stabbing his daughter and staging her discovery.

Prosecutors say Richard Lyons took a knife to his daughter's neck and abdomen on July 14, 2008 and later "found" her in the 8400 block of South Gilbert. A bloody knife was found in the alley days later.

The 9-year-old girl, Maya Lyons, lived with her mother but was visiting her father for the summer.

Police questioned Richard Lyons early in their investigation but never named him a suspect. He was arrested and charged in January 2011.

Lyons' attorneys maintain it was another man who was lurking in the alley who is the real killer, but prosecutors said blood spatter evidence inside Lyons' van suggests the girl was stabbed there before she was discovered in the alley behind her father's home.

"We look forward to challenging the so-called scientific evidence in this case because as far as I can see now, that's the only evidence in this case," Lyons' attorney, Alan Blumenthal, said after his client was charged.

Hundreds of people attended the girl's funeral. The service included a personal note from then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"I cannot pretend to understand the struggle that you have been forced to endure as a result of this senseless violence...," Obama wrote, adding, "As a parent myself, I can only imagine the unbearable pain you are experiencing as well as the uncertainty of so many questions left unanswered."

The jurors in the case could visit the Lyons' former Auburn-Gresham home.

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