TACOMA — Tyler Savage could have said he was sorry. He could have tried to argue, again, how Kimberly Daily’s death was an accident. He could have offered condolences to the Special Olympian’s family.
Instead, the 21-year-old convicted murderer went off to a life in prison without uttering a word Friday.
Savage didn’t even say, “No,” when Pierce County Superior Court Judge Linda Lee asked whether he wanted to talk. He simply shook his head.
It was a departure for Savage, who previously had talked to detectives and a Pierce County jury extensively about the day in August 2010 when he killed Daily.
Maybe he kept his silence on the advice of his attorneys, who are preparing an appeal. Maybe he just didn’t have anything to say.
His words wouldn’t have changed his sentence. A prison term of life without parole was preordained after a jury in December convicted him of aggravated first-degree murder for killing the 16-year-old girl, whose developmental disabilities left her with the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.
Prosecutors said she was raped and strangled in an overgrown lot in the South Hill area of the county, her naked body dumped in a blackberry bramble.
After days of denying what happened to Daily, Savage confessed to killing her but said it was the result of an accident during a bondage sex game. Detectives and prosecutors didn’t buy it. Neither did the jury.
Others did find their voices in Lee’s third-floor courtroom at the County-City Building during Friday’s sentencing hearing.
“This was a remorseless rape and murder, and the defendant deserves, and the community benefits from, the life sentence mandated by law,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told Lee.
A good friend of Daily’s, Kiasa Sims, then addressed the court. She said she considered Daily a sister and that she misses her every day.
Cecil Daily, the victim’s father, got his chance to speak next. Daily, who sat through every day of Savage’s trial, described his daughter as a happy, trusting girl, who loved dogs, basketball and other people.
“Kimmie had an unconditional love for all people,” he said. “She made friends everywhere she went.”
Her murder has left a hole in his life and heart that can’t be filled, Cecil Daily said.
“I not only lost my daughter, I lost my best friend,” he said.
Defense attorneys Les Tolzin and Lisa Mulligan were offered a chance to say something on their client’s behalf. The two had previously argued, unsuccessfully, that their client should be treated as a juvenile at sentencing because he’d turned 18 just a few weeks before killing Daily. Friday they had nothing to offer.
Lee then gave Savage his chance. Nothing.
So the judge did what the law required and sent Savage off to prison forever.