San Antonio judge lowers bail for King Jay’s grandmother
A judge lowered the bail Friday for the grandmother accused of helping stage a kidnapping to cover up the death of 8-month-old King Jay Davila.
According to her family, Beatrice Sampayo, 64, has ovarian cancer that has spread to her bones. Sampayo’s court-appointed lawyer, Melissa Lesniak, said Friday the $250,000 bail set by a judge in January was “exhaustive and oppressive given her situation.”
Magistrate Judge Andrew Carruthers agreed and lowered the bail to $50,000.
The hearing Friday was the first time Sampayo has appeared in court since she was arrested Jan. 10.
Police say Sampayo helped her son, Christopher Davila, 34, cover up King Jay’s death after he died in a purported accident while in Davila’s care. Sampayo has been charged with tampering with evidence.
Police have charged Davila with injury to a child, child endangerment and tampering with evidence, along with two other charges.
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Davila remains in jail in lieu of a $1.25 million bond. He now says King Jay died after the car seat holding the boy fell off a bed. He says he did not call 911 because he panicked.
Police officials have hinted that they do not believe Davila’s latest account. The Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that King Jay died of a blunt force trauma injury. It ruled his death a homicide.
During Friday’s hearing, Jorge Luna, a social worker from Trinity Hospice San Antonio, testified that Sampayo has been under hospice care since June.
Luna said he visited Sampayo at her West Side home about 20 times. During his visits, Sampayo reported having a lot of pain, he said.
“I never saw her out of her bed,” he said.
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During cross examination, prosecutor Samantha DiMaio asked Luna whether he would be surprised to learn that Sampayo was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 and that she was capable of driving and grocery shopping.
“That would be a surprise,” Luna said.
DiMaio also asked Luna whether he was aware that members of Sampayo’s family were “drug addicts” who attempted to access Sampayo’s medication.
“We took precautions because that was a suspicion,” he said. “For a time, that was a concern.”
He said nurses with Hospice San Antonio kept Sampayo’s prescriptions — including methadone and morphine — in a secure location that only Sampayo could access.
Sampayo remained in a wheelchair throughout the hearing Friday, saying very little. At one point, she turned around to smile at members of her family who sat in the gallery.
Emilie Eaton is a criminal justice reporter in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @emilieeaton