CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – The trial for the North Myrtle Beach woman accused of killing and disposing of her two newborn children began Wednesday with opening statements from both sides.
An alternate juror set to hear Alyssa Dayvault’s case was dismissed on Tuesday due to a personal reason, causing a delay. Dayvault has been a no-show in court, but the trial is continuing in her absence.
Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said there is a bench warrant out for Dayvault’s arrest for failure to appear. He stated the defendant showed up last week during pretrial hearings, and now they are not sure where she is.
Despite her absence, opening statements were delivered Wednesday morning once a final juror was selected.
In their opening statement, the prosecution told the jury this isn’t a murder trial. It’s about Dayvault’s negligence and “extreme indifference of human life.”
Meanwhile, her defense argued the state’s case is just a theory.
Among the witnesses was a doctor who cared for Dayvault in 2018 shortly after she gave birth.
“I pulled out the mast, which was a full-term placenta, with a cord,” the doctor testified.
The defense pointed out the doctor couldn’t determine if the baby was delivered healthy since she wasn’t there when it was born.
Another doctor who discovered Dayvault was pregnant in November of 2017 also took the stand.
Jurors also heard from an agent with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, who was among the first investigators to speak with Dayvault in the case.
The agent said she interviewed Dayvault at her North Myrtle Beach home, during which the defendant reportedly first denied being pregnant but then admitted to giving birth twice - once in 2017 and again in 2018.
That interview was recorded on a police body camera and was played for the jury Wednesday morning. Dayvault could be heard getting emotional at times.
“I wasn’t thinking, I wasn’t. I don’t, I don’t have an explanation, I wasn’t thinking, I wasn’t. I was too scared to tell anybody I was pregnant. I was horrified, I was scared,” Dayvault was heard saying on the recording.
In the video, she went on to explain the births with investigators, as well as what happened afterward.
Officials said she placed both infants in the trash.
The state will present a doctor from MUSC as their final witness Thursday morning.
If Dayvault is convicted during the trial and she is still a no-show, the sentence will be sealed and opened when she is arrested on the bench warrant, the solicitor said.
However, if she is found not guilty and is later located, there could be a minor penalty for not showing up, according to Richardson. He added, however, that wouldn’t be likely.
Dayvault is charged with homicide by child abuse and removal of human remains.