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Charles Montaldo

Beaten Toddler Pleaded to Mom, 'I Love You'

By January 28, 2009

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Even while she was being beaten to death, 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers tried to stop the abuse by reaching out to her mother and saying, "I love you," according to opening statements in the murder trial of her 20-year-old mother. District attorney Kayla Allen told jurors that the toddler's desperate pleas did not stop the abuse, which eventually led to her death.

Incredibly, Kimberly Trenor is not facing the death penalty if found guilty of capital murder.

Allen told jurors in her opening statements that Riley Ann, who was known as "Baby Grace" after her body was found washed up on the banks of Galveston Bay in a storage tub, was killed July 25, 2007, because she forgot to say "please" and "yes, sir" to Trenor and her husband, Royce Zeigler II.

Allen said Riley was punished by being hit with a belt, her head pushed against a pillow and her head held under water. Zeigler then picked up the child and threw her across the room, fracturing her skull. Neither Trenor nor Zeigler did anything to help Riley as she lay on the floor dying.

Reaching Out for Help

"To the very end, Riley said, 'I love you' to her mom. She's reaching out," Allen told jurors. "That's her lifeline, to her mother. What does Kim do after hearing her say I love you? She starts beating her."

After Riley died, the couple bought a plastic storage container, stuffed her body inside and put it in a storage shed for two months. They later threw the tub into Galveston Bay. It was found by a fisherman after washing up on shore.

During his opening statement, defense attorney Tommy Stickler Jr. told the jury that Trenor, 20, never intended to kill her daughter in 2007 and that disciplining the child just "spun out of control."

"I don't want to use the word accident, but this wasn't something that was intentional," Stickler told the jury.

See Also:
Prosecutor: Slain Toddler Said 'I Love You' at End

The Baby Grace Case

Discuss the Baby Grace Case

Photo: Mug Shot


January 28, 2009 at 2:13 pm
(1) italian girl says:

I am thorughly sickened by this woman who calls herself a mother.. A mother protects their children.
I want to see her and that aXXhole husband beaten and whipped with a belt and dunked in cold water and thrown against the wall.
Stupid, disgusting, non-humans..
Stand up for what is right America.. that this happened is a travesty to all other humans on this planet.

January 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm
(2) buckeye boy says:

I agree – put the so called parents through the same torture this little inocent girl was put through. but don’t kill them – take them to the brink of death and then start the process all over again – multiple times!!!

January 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm
(3) criminologystudent says:

I am also in favor of the death penalty especially in instances of the most innocent victims, out children.
This little girl went threw HELL and even as she was dying she could only plead to her mother that she loved her and what did she get, beaten some more, it is unexcusable!

While i am in favor of the death penalty, i thnik those who do get sentenced to death usually have it so much easier than their victims: I wonder if we actually would dispense justice in the same way in which their victim died would it change anything? I am a criminal justice student and we have been discussing this topic of the death penalty for a while and i understand that there are numerous debates both for and against and i can see all sides. The truth is the death penalty is not a deterrant, but there are just some crimes that cry out for justice or cal it revenge if you like. Sometime you must prune some of the fruit to save the tree, and this is how i view the death penalty, there are just some individuals who can never be reintroduced into society without them attacking and hurt others again.
Our midterm project was on the juvenile justice and the elimination of the death penalty for the juveniles. Some individuals can not nor will they ever be able to be a part of a law abiding society, God in his own process weeds out some of the worse and we must also in my opinion.

January 28, 2009 at 3:18 pm
(4) LISA says:

Afer reading this story I was sick to my stomach with disgust of these two people who claim to be parents. While reading this story all I wanted to do was hug my little boy and hear him tell me that he loves me. This is a terrible thing to happen to any child. God Bless Baby Grace.

January 28, 2009 at 3:57 pm
(5) Rick says:

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea – Mt 18:6

January 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm
(6) fat nutricionist says:

i want justice. they should stuff the parents with mash potatoes,and gravy. ummm yum. They diserve to be sentenced to jail and beated for eternity until there tender to cook. served with a slice of chicken breast. cause apparently she didnt have any ethics.

January 28, 2009 at 4:58 pm
(7) Linda says:

I, too, am sickened at what this discusting excuse of a human being did to that child. That isn’t a mom. That is a monster. I hope she gets the same as she gave that poor child.

January 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm
(8) Darlene says:

I am appalled that the death penalty is not on the table for these people. I don’t understand how any human being can show them mercy when they had none to show to this precious child. My heart breaks for little baby but, I take comfort in knowing she is a beautiful flower in God’s garden. Never again to have her love thrown back at her, never again to have to suffer at the hands of the egg and sperm donors who gave her what little life she had.
God bless her and keep her!!

January 28, 2009 at 9:04 pm
(9) lilmisstex says:

As a citizen of Texas the fact that the death penalty isnít on the table for this case sickens me. Considering that Texas leads all other states in putting inmates to death itís a terrible travesty. I am against the death penalty, not because I care about death row inmates but because I think death penalty cases and all the appeals that go along with them are a waste of tax payer money that could be better spent other places, so in a way I agree with the state of Texas for not seeking the death penalty but for a different reason. I think the needle is to good and to easy for these two pieces of trash. I hope the other inmates in prison get a hold of them and torture them both for hours before stomping the last breath out of them. Itís a shame that authorities wont just turn them loose after the trial in front of the courthouse so the angry mob can rip them apart alive.

January 29, 2009 at 2:48 am
(10) Kelv says:

The Prison authority should educate these both animal in their system before they are sentenced to death. They should be filmed/recorded in their behavioural process to tell the public why they are able to commit such a crime to kill a defenceless child. I think this will be a good guide for all those who study criminology and behavioural science. We need to know how they think before abd after committing such crime.

January 29, 2009 at 3:50 am
(11) Shao says:

Would anyone be kind enough to sue this woman and her lover even if they are not sentenced to the needle?

January 30, 2009 at 2:22 am
(12) 39470 says:

did I read that this so called “mother” is pregnant or had another child? if so who has this child(if I read it correctly)? I hope both of them are left alone with their roommates there in prison and they give them what is due them
this child, Caylee, where does it end

January 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(13) KKND says:

Unfortunately our justice sytem is broken and so is our child protection system. This was not the first time this child was beaten. Why are these children not saved? It is so sad and it makes me so angry. A child is being beaten right now as we blog about this and people need to pay attention. Dont ignore the children in your neighborhood, get to know them. It is your business, my business, everyone’s business when it comes to saving these children. The abusers arent the only ones who knew they were doing this. Someone could have at least tried to save her.

Please pay attention people. It happens everywhere.

January 31, 2009 at 2:21 pm
(14) sickening says:

No what’s even more sick than the mom doing this is the INSANE lawyers trying to let her walk FREE!

January 31, 2009 at 9:45 pm
(15) Lisa says:

I want to vomit everytime I read about this poor baby! That pathetic excuse for a mother and her sorry boyfriend should be facing the death penalty! Not by leathal injection but by alternating beating and being held under water for 2 or 3 days. Even that would be to easy for these monsters! I hope they get what is due and forever burn in hell!

February 1, 2009 at 10:45 am
(16) Charles says:

As a father of a 10 year old girl, I am absolutley appalled at reading this story and the fact that the prosecutor is not seeking the death penalty. I am angry and saddend by what this little girl had to go through. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction knowing that in any prison or jail in this country there is one thing that other prisoners despise, and that is other prisoners that have been convicted of hurting or killing a child. They will get there justice when they arrive at their new homes as this case has been widely publisized throughout the state and inmates watch TV.

February 4, 2009 at 12:25 am
(17) genesis says:

I have a 3 month old son and this and other storys like this hurt me i think every so called parent that abuse there child should get the death roll cause god gave them a beatuful child and they wanna abuse gods gift thats wrong……..

February 5, 2009 at 12:17 pm
(18) ALAYNA WITTE says:

This SATANIC figure of a mother should DEFINITLEY get the DEATH PENANLTY..I am outrgaed that she hasnt…this is a disgrace to american culture..this poor baby…I cant belive its not recommened..this woman should suffer!!!

March 13, 2009 at 10:12 am
(19) Girl says:

Let those people die they dont deserve to live fro what they did to that poor little girl

March 26, 2009 at 5:17 am
(20) Jhenephyr says:

I have just been reading a website called “Stop taking Lives in the name of Justice – End the DP worldwide”. Wouls somebody please be able to send this page to the author of that page? It may just be the only thing that will open the eyes of these bleeding hearts. And I agree, ‘do to them what they did to her’, not once or twice, but every month for the rest of their lives.

May 2, 2009 at 10:10 am
(21) Tessie P. says:

God bless you baby Grace I wish you had a lovely life and mother. But you didn’t you poor girl. I hope that these two piece of trash that did this to baby Grace will suffer for the rest of their days. Who is going to look after this piece of trash’s new baby?

June 27, 2009 at 12:54 pm
(22) sexymomma says:

let me be alone with these two , they will be wishing for death by the time i would be done,and i wouldnt give it to them. these people,if they can be called that better get thiers in prison,even other criminals dont like baby killers.hope you both burn in hell!!!!!!!

January 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm
(23) mimi .12 says:

i think that is the most sickening a crazy thing to do its horrible and they should be tortured until they die its not right fair or smart i mean how can you do that to a little girl your daughter thats not right and i hope for that they both burn in hell!!!

January 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(24) LIz says:

i’m speechless….this makes me feel sad. This little girl did not deserver such a horrible life. why?? why would those parent’s of her do such an unhuman thing!!!! This should never have happened!!!

Riley Ann (RIP) <3

January 28, 2010 at 12:17 am
(25) melissa says:

Although as a Christian I am taught to pray and forgive my enemies or enemies that do harm as Christ did, I find it increasingly difficult to do that whenever I read a newspaper article or see on T.V. about some dingbat harming a sweet innocent child. I read the graphic horror-movie like details how these sick parents hurt their 2-year-old child, because she didn’t say the right thing. And I thought I was selfish! No child, no matter what skin color or economic background, deserved that kind of violent “discipline.” Maybe that would explain why such people like Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy grow up to be serial killers. Look at their backgrounds! Our society should take a harder look at the Constitution’s opposition to cruel and unusual punishment toward offenders. People who deliberately or purposely harm or kill our children should suffer the same fate as heretics did centuries ago in Europe: burn them at the stake. Maybe it might send a strong message to those what will happen if they decide to harm our children. No excuses!

October 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm
(26) A Very Angry Man says:

What these monsters really need is the Torture Sentence and then Death Sentence. Cut their fingers and beat them!

They are Monsters!!!!

Worse than any wild animals I’ve heard!!!

October 20, 2010 at 5:28 pm
(27) Only Death Sentence is not enough says:

The problem with only Death Sentence is that these Monsters would not suffer very much because they would just be injected with poison but if we jail them in Hell with other inmates then I think that it would be better so they would have to suffer longer and risking to get beaten by other inmates including by saying that they would get Death Sentence by being beaten to death when they are old which would also make them live in terror and feel anxious while in jail. Torture Sentence would also be great for this kind of case. I wanted to see action! I REALLY MEAN “REAL JUSTICE”!

October 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm
(28) roger says:

i agree that the death penalty is not a deterrent, but it is an absolute preventive measure against an individual ever committing murder again. many killers serve time and then kill again after their release. the death penalty prevents repeat killing of more innocent people.

March 28, 2011 at 5:00 am
(29) Sonia says:

What kind of people do we have living among us…. I love my kids even more when they tell me I Love U .

June 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm
(30) Disgusted says:

I canít believe that people can be such monsters. I mean she was 2 years old, so she forgot to say please, so what? She was a baby, and they killed her. They canít justify what they did they murdered her and showed no remorse, even when she was on the floor with a fractured skull, even when she basically begged them they didnít stop.
I think that she deserves some retribution they should be stoned to death, drowned and thrown off a building, and Iím not even joking. I think people that hurt and kill children deserve more than imprisonment. I think that the justice system is messed up I mean how can you let someone that has killed a child only get locked away?

June 25, 2011 at 2:24 am
(31) Suze says:

That’s not a mother. A mother protects her children. A mother does not beat her child to death for saying “I love you.” My god, that little girl knew she was dying! I’ll bet anything she wanted her “mama” to know that even through her faults, she still loved her and forgave her. Maybe she wanted a hug or kiss goodbye. Just a small instance of mercy to make her passing somewhat easier. That little girl did not ask to be brought into this world, and she sure as heck did not ask to be beaten to death! She was two! Two year olds forget to say “please” and “yes sir”! It’s not a crime! Freaking maniacs… Looking for a reason to kill the poor baby. May she rest in peace and find the serenity she never had in life… May the egg donor called her mother rot in Tartarus/Hell/The Underworld/ Any variation of it forever!

February 21, 2012 at 8:04 am
(32) FallenAngel says:

Kimberly Trenor was never a mother. She gave birth to an angel due upon this earth for a reason. Kimberly belonged in hell before she even gave birth to this child, Riley just did her job and completed what she was placed here to do. Its sick to know that we have demons out there just walking around thinking they belong here but really belong in hell. I’m sad that Riley to go in that way. This story will always be in heart and know that my Son that recently had will be cherished and loved more than ever. I will support my son in every way, even if he forgets to say Please or Yes sir. Its your job to teach them and pick them up when they need help.

March 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm
(33) Cliff says:

Truly disturbing to say the least… I am a father of three beautiful children, and yes when they are in deep trouble they get their butts smacked. But lets face it people, as sad as this case is there is nothing thats really going to come of it other than a life sentence with the tax payers dollars feeding and clothing them and keeping them penned up in a little cage until the day they die. I remember an old HBO movie where an alcoholic hit a young boy and killed him with his car, the man was made to write out a check to the family once a week for a dollar or two and in the memo was put because I murdered your son. This kind of punishment drove the criminal insane….. Do I think this would be a great punishment for people who are in jail for life sentences, YES….. But do I believe that a person who kills a child should have the same abuse inflicted upon them, Yes I do. These beast, not men or women should be eliminated in the worst possible manor, mirror what they have done only to have it done to themselves. My heart goes out to the little child that this happened to….. Pleading with her mommy I LOVE YOU….. I LOVE YOU MOMMY. Only to have her life end with a tragic death….. It wasn’t lukemia or the flu that took her life it was the hands of the people who were suppose to love and care for her. She depended on her parents and it was no accident, there are no accidents in life, everything happens for a reason. The reasoning for this is to make everyone open their eyes to be aware of the abuse that happens right infront of us…. it isnt the trailer trash people stereotypes its the cops kids, the teachers kids, the judges kids, the rich the poor, the middle class…. the homeless… it happens in each group, we just have to know when to muster up our courage and strength and open our hearts and say STOP THIS FnCKED UP $HIT NOW…. take a stand.

August 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm
(34) Will says:

I lost my mother recently and typed mom where are you into the google bar and this came up i feel totally disgusted and really ill after reading this story, was looking for some comfort and feel worse than ever .
how can this evil exist ? think ive lost all hope for mankind

January 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm
(35) Olivia says:

I saw this story on tv and cried. There is no forgiveness for such evil. I’m satisfied they will spend eternity in hell but let’s get them there sooner rather than later. Life isn’t meant for people like them. It’s a gift, like children.
What the law won’t do, maybe others will. They need to feel what their daughter felt right before she died.
Neither of them are wanted on this Earth, let them go.

April 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm
(36) DOnna says:

I just saw the whole story on TV. I almost threw up when the so called MOM told detectives how they beat their daughter. While getting beat she told them she loved them. That’s when I lost it… I couldn;t hold back the tears. How can they beat her more after she told them that????Monsters….

they should have that confession tape playing in their cell 24 hours a day…so they cannot escape or forget what they did.

May 2, 2013 at 8:19 am
(37) robert says:

This lady need to be beaten and everything she did to her little girl, If anyone ever hit my girls they would not be walking ever again.they need to kill that mom that did that and stop try to excuse what she did just kill her , she took a little ones life now take hers to

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