Byron Syvinski Trial Coming to a Close
Byron Syvinski allegedly beat young Am-Marie Martin and tried to steal her bike
ANCHORAGE - It was the final day of testimony in the trial against Byron Syvinski, the man accused of severely beating then 7-year-old Am-Marie Martin.
Martin’s mother Andrea Dunwoody took the stand and told the jury about the events of June 5, 2011.
“I saw her laying on the ground, she was coming in and out of consciousness, she was crying. I tried to calm her down and told her not to move and that everything was going to be okay,” said Dunwoody.
“And I told her I’m sorry I wasn’t there with her.”
Now 8, Martin didn't take the stand because prosecutors and her mother didn't want to expose her to any more trauma.
Outside of the courtroom, Dunwoody explained the reasoning behind the decision.
"After hearing everybody's testimony, and seeing the pictures, and the witness statements and officers, the doctor thought maybe that's just enough, she doesn't need to go up there and relive everything.”
The jury also heard testimony from Dr. Deborah Lerner, who works in Providence Hospital's pediatric critical care unit.
Lerner treated Am-Marie for a brain injury and skull fractures following the attack.
The prosecution also called Dr. Michael Mullowney, who treated Syvinski after the attack.
Dr. Mullowney said Syvinski showed the signs of someone who was under the influence of a drug commonly known as "bath salts."
"When Byron came in he was extremely violent, agitated, hallucinating, he's probably the most extreme amount of agitation and violent behavior I've ever heard of,” said Dr. Mullowney.
Dr. Mullowney was asked by state prosecutor Rob Henderson about how he determined Syvinski was suffering from a drug-induced psychosis as opposed to a mental illness.
Dr. Mullowney said there were numerous reasons for his diagnosis, including that he had met Byron a month earlier while treating an injury and there was no sign of a mental illness. He also said he didn’t know of any history of a mental illness.
“Typically, at someone Byron's age, they always have a previous history of come sort of psychiatric illness, which he did not have," said Dr. Mullowney.
Though when Syviniski's attorney, Krista Maciolek, pressed Dr. Mullowney for more details, he told the court that he did have a record of Syvinski having been at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.
"They said that he had been to API once in the setting of a child passing away from SIDS, that much I can say," said Dr. Mullowney.
The jury also learned that on the day before the attack, Syvinski was taken to the Providence psychiatric unit threatening suicide, and was discharged with a diagnosis of insomnia.
Syninski never took the stand and the defense rested without calling any witnesses.
Closing arguments are set for Wednesday morning.