Judges approves reduction of bail for King Jay's grandmother

Attorney for Beatrice Sampayo requested bail reduction due to her cancer

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist, Alicia Barrera - Multimedia Journalist, Misael Gomez - Photojournalist

A judge has approved a bail reduction request for Beatrice Sampayo, baby King Jay Davila's grandmother, who appeared in court in a wheelchair Friday morning.

On Jan. 10, Sampayo was arrested in the death of 8-month-old King Jay and charged with tampering with evidence.

Sampayo, 65, was being held at the Bexar County Jail on a $250,000 bond but a judge Friday reduced it to $50,000. Her attorney, Melissa Lesniak, claimed Sampayo's bail was "excessive" and "oppressive" for her client's situation.

"(Sampayo) has a husband here, she lives at a residence (with) her daughter. She is not a flight risk. She will be available for trial. Her bond is oppressive. It's unreasonable," Lesniak said.

With the reduction, Sampayo is now responsible for paying only $5,000 instead of $25,000 bail on a condition of drug and alcohol testing.

Lesniak said Sampayo has medical documents that show she is suffering from terminal illnesses, which include ovarian and bone cancer. Sampayo's treatment began June 20 at Trinity Hospice, but stopped shortly after she was taken into custody, Lesniak said.

Sampayo last received treatment Jan. 10, the day of her arrest, and the hospice agency discharged her two weeks later because they could not access her in jail, Lesniak said.

Lesniak said if bail is reduced, Sampayo could be readmitted as a patient and Trinity Hospice could attend to her at her West Side home in the 400 block of Parkside Drive, where she had been receiving treatment.

A social worker with Trinity Hospice said a doctor referred Sampayo to receive hospice care, which is recommended for patients who are not expected to live more than six months.

The social worker said the health facility provided treatment to help with pain, not to cure cancer. Sampayo was prescribed fentanyl, morphine and methadone, and she was given a key to a box because they suspected some of her family members were trying to use her medication.

Sampayo was never seen out of bed, the social worker claimed, and in his 20 visits to her home, he could not imagine her driving after seeing the condition she was in.

Samantha Dimaio with the District Attorney's Office asked the social worker if he was shown video of Sampayo taking part in a staged kidnapping that shows her driving, taking out a baby car seat, going to pick up the car seat, would he be surprised. He responded, "Yes."

"(Sampayo) is using her medical condition to cover up her son's crimes and now homicide," Dimaio said.

The reduction of bail comes five weeks after Sampayo, her son, who is King Jay's father, Christopher Davila, 34; and her niece, Angie Torres, 45, took part in what San Antonio police said was a staged kidnapping to cover of King Jay's death.

Christopher Davila claimed his son was on his bed in a car seat but not strapped in. He said the car seat toppled over causing King Jay to land face first on the ground, according to an arrest affidavit.

King Jay was found unresponsive a few hours later, having received no medical treatment, according to the affidavit.

San Antonio police said Christopher Davila confessed to burying his son in an open field near his Northeast Side home in the 5800 block of Castle Brook Drive. King Jay's body was later found buried in a backpack.

Christopher Davila is facing felony charges of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury - omission, child endangerment and tampering with evidence. He was also arrested on unrelated charges of felony possession of a firearm and possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance.

Sampayo and Torres are both facing a charge of tampering with evidence, which is a third-degree felony.

Sampayo's family declined to speak with KSAT but was heard in the courtroom telling her, "I love you, mom."

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