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Former Williams resident pleads guilty to child abuse and second degree murder

Former Williams resident Kayla Amaro, 34, pleaded guilty to child abuse and second-degree murder in the death of her 8-month-old child in 2017. Amaro received 13 and a half years in prison with five years of probation (Photo/Coconino County)

Former Williams resident Kayla Amaro, 34, pleaded guilty to child abuse and second-degree murder in the death of her 8-month-old child in 2017. Amaro received 13 and a half years in prison with five years of probation (Photo/Coconino County)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — A 34-year-old woman pleaded guilty to child abuse and second-degree murder in the 2017 death of her 8-month-old child in Williams.

According to court documents, on June 22, Kayla Amaro, formerly of Williams and now a resident of Blythe, California, was sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison, with five years of probation. She had been incarcerated since Feb. 1, 2023 and will be credited for 145 days for pre-sentence incarceration. Special conditions require that she serve 100 percent of her prison sentence.

On Sept. 14, 2017, David Deysie, a former Williams resident, brought his infant son, Zane Deysie, to Life Line Ambulance in Williams with serious injuries.

Paramedics delivered the infant to Flagstaff Medical Center, which then flew the child to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Physicians at Phoenix Children’s Hospital determined the infant had injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome, including brain bleeding and multiple fractures that occurred seven to 10 days before they were detected.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital contacted the police department late Sept. 14 and advised them the infant had life threatening injuries that appeared to be nonaccidental.

The child died Sept. 15, 2017.

Officers interviewed Kayla Amaro, family members, neighbors and others who had been in contact with the infant at that time.

David Deysie was arrested and initially charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of causing a child or vulnerable adult to suffer physical injury. The charges were later changed to one count of child abuse, a class 2 felony.

Kayla Amaro, 30, posted bond April 25, 2019 for charges filed Dec. 13, 2018. She pleaded not guilty at the time of arraignment.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) began an investigation in 2017, along with Williams Police Department, into the death of Zane Deysie which was completed Jan. 26, 2018.

According to a Feb. 21, 2018 report, investigators substantiated an allegation of neglect against Amaro because Zane sustained the injuries while in her care.

DCS had prior history with Amaro as detailed in the report.

On Jan. 25, 2017, DCS received a report alleging neglect to Zane because of substance abuse by Amaro. DCS investigated and the allegations were unsubstantiated. The department provided the family with information on services available in the community and the case was closed.

On July 26, 2014, DCS received a report alleging neglect to Zane’s two half-siblings because of substance abuse by Amaro. The allegations were unsubstantiated. DCS offered the family services, but they declined and the case was closed.

On April 2, 2010, DCS received a report alleging physical abuse to a half-sibling by Amaro, The allegation was unsubstantiated because of a lack of evidence and the case was closed.

DCS said David Deysie had no prior history with the department.

According to court documents, Amaro’s older children are living with their biological father. The victim’s seven-year-old sibling now lives with their father’s family. Amaro has since had another son, who is now two and lives with his biological father.


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