Gotta love when the jury gets it right.
In a jury trial in Montgomery County Circuit Court that lasted only one day instead of the three days that were scheduled, 27-year-old Kayla Nicole Thomas of Christiansburg, Virginia was convicted on four charges relating to the sexual abuse of her son, two-year-old Steven Meek II, three days before Steven’s death on January 11, 2019.
At the beginning of the day, Kayla pleaded not guilty to charges of inanimate object sexual penetration, forcible sodomy, making child pornography, and distribution of child pornography. According to Kayla’s defense attorney, Andrew Harman, Kayla committed the acts of which she was accused, but she was forced into them by her boyfriend, McKenzie Hellman.
The prosecution told the court that McKenzie requested Kayla commit sexual assault on her own toddler, and she complied, making five videos of the abuse, each 30 seconds in duration, and sending them to her boyfriend, who was, at the time, masturbating at the other end of the couple’s mobile home in Christiansburg, Virginia.
For the disturbing details of the crimes committed against sweet baby Steven, please see yesterday’s blog post. In all honesty, I can’t bring myself to type them again.
The hell-beast took the stand in her own defense, testifying that she did commit the acts, but only because she was terrified of her boyfriend, fearing he would harm her, Steven, and her then-unborn baby. The baby, which was born after Kayla was arrested in January of 2019, was fathered by McKenzie.
On the stand, Kayla testified that she and McKenzie had dated for about two years before moving into the mobile home together just weeks prior to Steven’s death. McKenzie’s ex-wife and child also lived in the home. During the weeks they lived together, Kayla told the court, McKenzie used methamphetamine, and his personality changed. “He turned into this monster I did not recognize.”
Kayla told the court that she did not want to sexually assault her son and suggested alternatives to McKenzie, saying she would do drugs with him or have a threesome with him and his ex-wife. She also solicited nude pictures of a female friend to appease him. The following morning, she testified, “I finally, I guess, caved.” At that point, she performed three sexual violations on her son and “afterward felt disgusted with myself.”
Join the club, lady.
Kayla admitted on the stand that she still writes love letters to McKenzie, the last of which were sent on May 18 and May 23, 2021. What was that about being terrified of him, again?
The unfortunate jury was forced to watch the videos Kayla made of Steven’s sexual abuse, which Christiansburg police Investigator Nathan Delp testified were discovered on Kayla’s phone.
In March, McKenzie Hellman was tried for the sex charges against him. After the jurors deliberated for just over 30 minutes, they returned with a conviction on all charges and a recommendation of two life sentences. McKenzie is scheduled to be sentenced on those charges on June 29. His trial for felony murder and child abuse/neglect is scheduled to take place over two days, beginning on August 10.
After a long day of testimony, on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, the jury in this trial found Kayla Nicole Thomas guilty on all charges and recommended a sentence of two life terms plus ten years.
Kayle is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23.
Click here for my ongoing coverage of Steven’s story.
Sources: The Roanoke Times