FORT WORTH -- Samson Loynachan told several stories about how 2-year-old Chloe Robinson suffered a fatal blow to her head -- that she fell off a slide at day care, that she fell off her toddler bed, that he hit her with a head rest while trying to tease her.
But when Chloe's mother threatened to leave Loynachan if he didn't tell her the truth, he told her that he had tripped while carrying the sick child into the house and that she had crashed into the coffee table, the mother, Nicole Robinson, testified Wednesday.
Loynachan changed that story, too, a few weeks later, she said.
"Once he saw my reaction, then he said ... 'I lied,'" Robinson said.
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Loynachan, 32, is on trial in state District Judge Louis Sturns' court on a capital murder charge in the death of Chloe in August 2010.
Prosecutors Alana Minton and Eric Nickols have presented evidence that Loynachan was alone with the child when she lost consciousness and that the blow was so severe it would have left her immediately unable to function.
Defense attorney Fred Cummings has disputed that finding, saying other experts contend that the symptoms could have developed over 24 hours.
Under sharp questioning Wednesday from Cummings, Nicole Robinson also testified that she had praised Loynachan's parenting skills and said he willingly took on responsibility for her four children and his two.
"A great guy. He always treated Chloe like she was his own. She even called him Daddy," Robinson posted on Facebook after Loynachan was arrested.
"Your house was full of kids frequently, wasn't it?" Cummings asked.
"Yes," she said.
Nicole Robinson also told jurors that she married Loynachan while Chloe was being treated at the hospital in part because she wanted Chloe to have Loynachan's military insurance and benefits.
A Navy fund paid for the funeral, and Robinson said she received Loynachan's military check for several months after he was arrested.
Loynachan is no longer in the military, and Robinson said she never filed the marriage certificate.
"I didn't know what happened to my daughter, and I didn't want to be married to someone who killed her," she testified.
Other witnesses testified this week that they saw Loynachan acting harshly with the child, and one woman reported him to Child Protective Services.
Witness Marty Smith said she was sitting in her car outside her workplace when she saw Loynachan drag the child up the stairs into a pain management clinic where Loynachan was being treated.
"He grabbed her by her little wrist -- just yanked the stuffing out of her," Smith testified. "He drug her behind him like a bag of laundry."
Smith said Loynachan emerged a few minutes later, appearing even angrier than before, and she said she made a report to CPS. The incident occurred one day before Chloe suffered the head injury that caused her death. Two child-care workers also testified that Loynachan was so harsh with the child that they considered calling CPS.
Chloe was in her first day at a new day-care center on Aug. 25, 2010, when she became ill and began running a fever, a worker said. Robinson was on her first day of a new job and asked Loynachan to pick her up early.
Loynachan arrived about 4:30 p.m. By 5:30 p.m., he had run to a neighbor's house with a limp Chloe in his arms to seek help. By about 6 p.m., paramedics had taken the "limp, listless" child to the Cook Children's Medical Center emergency room.
She died the next day after surgery to relieve swelling on her brain. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office concluded that Chloe died of blunt trauma to the head.
Testimony is expected to continue today in 213th state District Court. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
Dianna Hunt, 817-390-7084