GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A woman accused in the beating death of her 2-year-old daughter, dubbed "Baby Grace," has pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence but innocent of capital murder charges, days before her trial is set to begin.
Kimberly Dawn Trenor, 20, and her husband, Royce Clyde Zeigler II, 25, are accused of beating Riley Ann Sawyers to death July 25, 2007 in their home in the Houston suburb of Spring. Trenor told police the child died after a disciplinary session veered out of control.
Trenor said the couple hid the body in a shed for two months before dumping it in Galveston Bay where a fisherman later found the body inside a box. The then-anonymous girl was dubbed "Baby Grace."
Trenor and Zeigler were each charged with capital murder and tampering with physical evidence.
Trenor was arraigned Tuesday before Galveston County District Judge David Garner.
A jury pool of 150 people was chosen Wednesday. That group is set to return to court on Monday, when 12 jurors and two alternates are expected to be selected, with opening statements in the trial to follow the next day.
Garner had been prepared to bring in up to 1,200 potential jurors through Friday but only needed to interview a couple hundred people to get the jury pool.
The chosen 12-person jury will decide whether Trenor is guilty of capital murder and sentence her on the charge of tampering with evidence. She faces two to 20 years in prison for tampering, and life in prison if convicted of capital murder.
Trenor and Zeigler remain in the Galveston County Jail in lieu of $850,000 bail each. Zeigler is being tried separately and his trial date has not been set.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.