Syvinski Trial Begins
Accused of beating 7-year-old girl
ANCHORAGE - A dramatic start came Thursday in the trial of Byron Syvinski, the 33-year-old man accused of beating a 7-year-old girl on a bicycle a year ago:
The 911 call that brought police to the scene in Midtown was played in Superior Court, and it was the first time the victim's mother heard it.
It was a tough moment for Andrea Dunwoody -- the mother of the victim, Am-Marie Martin -- who began crying as the tape played.
Syvinski’s defense attorney admits he assaulted Am-Marie and put her into a pediatric intensive care unit.
He is charged with several counts of assault in that attack, as well as an assault on another man in the neighborhood that occurred just minutes before.
The prosecution says that Syvinski used dangerous instruments -- his hands -- in recklessly inflicting injury and that he continued to punch Am-Marie in the face even as she was lying on the ground after his initial blows.
The prosecution showed photographs of Am-Marie immediately after the assault and through her eight-day hospital stay, but we have decided not to broadcast the images.
Assistant District Attorney Heather Nobrega said the assault occurred in just a few moments that Dunwoody was tending to laundry inside.
"You'll hear that am-Marie had an area called the safety zone, where she could play outside or ride her bike, where her mom could still see her from inside through the windows," Nobrega said.
Syvinski’s attorney, Krista Maciolek, says he should be found guilty of two of the lesser counts of assault, but she says prosecutors have overstated their case.
"The state's trying to bootstrap all this other stuff on that just doesn't fit. I think that's what you'll find at the end of the trial."
Dunwoody said afterward: "And I hope that they don't go for that he's mentally incapable or he had a psychotic episode."
Dunwoody, says she believes Syvinski is simply violent, based on her conversations with his ex-wife, who Dunwoody says she has been friendly with even before the marriage ended.
The trial resumes Monday.