At age 16, Kimmie Daily had debilitating physical disabilities and the cognitive skills of a ten-year-old. She was an innocent.
On August 17, 2010, in one of the most reprehensible crimes this area has seen in years, Daily was raped and murdered. Last Tuesday, barely a week before Christmas, a Pierce County jury convicted Tyler Savage of Murder first degree in Daily’s death (TNT 12/17).
As Christmas tales go, the details brought up during Savage’s trial are reminiscent of the biblical story of the male infants put to the sword by a superstitious and jealous King Herod. It is a tragic reminder that slaughter of the innocents is a recurring tale.
While the conviction will not alter Kimberly Daily’s fate, it does accomplish two noteworthy objectives: first, it provides justice and, hopefully, a sense of closure for the victim’s family and friends; second, it removes what is arguably a budding psychopathic killer from the community.
For the latter, the office of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney deserves kudos and the thanks of a grateful community.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist was right to personally lend his considerable prestige to this especially disturbing case. Sharing the burden with Phil Sorenson and Jason Ruyf, two veteran deputy prosecutors, Lindquist methodically laid out the facts for the jury over weeks of testimony. This included a recording of Savage’s uncoerced confession to Pierce County detectives, his callous discarding of the victim’s corpse and his post-murder activities, which mostly consisted of playing video games.
In his defense, Savage attempted to place the blame on his victim. He stated it was she who first enticed him to have sex and she who suggested a kinky game of strangulation. Further, in an unbelievably galling closing statement, Savage’s attorney, Les Tolzin, invoked the theme of 50 Shades of Grey as an explanation for the victim’s alleged lurid request.
One can only imagine the impact of such a hurtful and ludicrous comparison on Cecil Daily, whose daughter Kimberly was, for all intents and purposes, a young woman with the mind of a ten-year-old. When Tolzin tossed out this objectionable literary reference, Prosecutor Lindquist (a published author himself) responded eloquently.
“If the defense story was a novel, you’d throw it across the room.”
Lindquist then went on to unravel the defense’s case point by point, beginning with Savage’s confession and hammering the point that the accused never once mentioned this objectionable excuse to police during hours of interviews.
Unimpressed by Savage’s testimony, the jury deliberated less than five hours before returning a verdict of guilty of Murder first degree. The verdict means Savage will have the rest of his life to contemplate the nature of his crime, though it is unlikely he will spend any of it reflecting on his victim. Instead, it is more likely he will pass the time bemoaning the fate of the only important person in his life: himself.
The details of this trial will likely haunt the twelve men and women who rendered their verdict; it will take a weary toll on the detectives who worked the case, as well as the prosecutors who won a conviction; and it will leave an indelible mark in the hearts of Kimmie’s family.
But at least now that Savage has been convicted, the community can rest a little bit easier knowing that the system worked as it should. A killer is off the street.
It is not much in the way of a Christmas present, but it is infinitely better than the alternative.