Tyler Savage did not gesture, showed no emotion and barely blinked Tuesday as he testified about killing a 16-year-old developmentally disabled girl in the South Hill area of Pierce County more than three years ago.
Savage, 21, spent just a portion of the morning on the witness stand in his aggravated first-degree murder trial. He faces life in prison if convicted as charged of raping and strangling Kimberly Daily in August 2010.
Prosecutors contend Savage strangled Daily to keep her from reporting that he'd raped her. Savage's defense team argues the girl died during rough, consensual sex.
Under questioning from Lisa Mulligan, one of his two defense attorneys, Savage gave a clinical account of meeting up with Daily the day she died and accompanying her into a overgrown lot near their homes.
"Did you intend to hurt her?" Mulligan asked.
"No," Savage said.
At one point, Savage testified, Daily asked him if he wanted to have sex with her. He said he first laughed but then agreed.
"She told me she wanted me to tie something around her neck," Savage testified. "I was uncomfortable with it. She kept on asking me and saying it was OK that she'd done it before."
Savage said Daily then took off her shirt and bra, and he tied the garments around her neck. Then they began kissing, and he touched her breasts, he said.
"She smiled," Savage said.
He testified he then closed his eyes as he continued touching her.
"Did there come a time when she came to be motionless?" Mulligan asked.
"Yes," Savage answered. "I kind of shook her a little bit and then just panicked."
He said he then stripped her naked, touched her vagina, throw her in the blackberry bushes and went home to play video games.
Mulligan asked him why he didn't summon help.
"I was afraid nobody would believe me," Savage said.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist then cross-examined the defendant.
Lindquist pounded on Savage about numerous lies he told to friends, family and detectives in the wake of the girl's disappearance. Savage was the last person to be seen with Daily, who was a special Olympian, but he denied for a long time knowing what happened to her.
Savaged admitted he lied frequently at the time.
At one point, the prosecutor asked Savage, with a tone of incredulity, if a 16-year-old developmentally disabled girl really asked to have "kinky, freaky sex" with him.
"She did," Savage replied.
Defense attorneys have unsuccessfully argued for the admission of evidence that they say shows Daily was interested in rough sex, including the browsing history from her computer around the time of her death.
Lindquist grilled Savage about his contention now that Daily wanted to have sex that day. He never told detectives that during two taped statements, nor did he ever tell family or friends, the prosecutor pointed out.
"At no point did you claim that Kimmie died in some kind of a sex game, did you?" Lindquist said.
"I did not," Savage replied.
Lindquist then moved on to some of the statements Savage gave detectives at the time of his arrest.
"You told the detectives on tape that you did not want Kimmie to leave, correct?"
"I think so," Savage said.
"And the reason you didn't want Kimmie to leave is you didn't want that 16-year-old girl, that developmentally disabled girl, to go out and tell people that you tried to rape her?" Lindquist said.
"No," Savage replied.
Testimony in the case is supposed to wrap up this week with closing arguments most likely coming Monday.