Testimony concluded Friday in the two-part Chronis hearing surrounding the blunt-force trauma death of 3-year-old Tiana Capps in 2015.
The defense team for Shawn Main, the woman charged with Tiana’s murder, called the special hearing months ago to require the state to establish probable cause in the death-penalty case.
Pinal County Sherriff’s Office Homicide Detective Michael Benedict testified March 2. The first portion of the hearing was held in January with testimony from a medical examiner.
A portion of Benedict’s testimony expanded on an allegation of a note allegedly written by Main the day after Tiana’s death. Prosecutors previously alleged the letter exonerated Main’s wife Maria Tiglao and the children’s biological mother, Tina Morse.
The three adults lived together with Morse’s four children in unincorporated Maricopa. Tiana was pronounced dead at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center Nov. 19.
Deputies allegedly discovered the note at Main’s residence Nov. 20 after they responded to a missing person’s call from Tiglao, according to court documents.
Written on lined paper, the note reads in part:
“To whom it may concern:
I, Shawn Main, take full responsibility in the death of Tiana Capps. She would never have died if I sought medical attention the first night she was falling. Whether I thought it happened from her acting out on purpose or not, had I not let my pride get in the way, she would still be here alive. Neither Chris Tiglao nor Tina Morse had any knowledge of what was happening when Tiana was falling over and over. Nobody else had any contact with her so that leaves me responsible for her alleged sexual abuse as well. I am not worthy of keeping my life when she never had a chance to live hers.
After searching the property, Benedict said deputies found Main in a detached garage.
At that time, Benedict was in Tucson at Tiana’s autopsy.
“I received a text message from patrol while I was at the autopsy that Ms. Main had tried to take her own life,” Benedict said. “She was being transported to the hospital.”
Benedict further testified that photos taken of Main included “pretty substantial injuries to her forearms.”
Main eventually recovered from her injuries and was interviewed at her home Dec. 5.
In response to a counter by the Defense Attorney Chester Lockwood, Benedict testified Main had stayed consistent in her explanation of the bruising on Tiana’s forehead during all three police interviews prior to all three women’s arrest on Dec. 24.
Benedict said Main never evaded questioning by detectives.
Prosecutors have until March 12 to file a memorandum with the court regarding the Chronis hearing. The defense is expected to file a response a week later. The state can submit a rebuttal by March 23.
Possibly delaying the upcoming trial is Main’s “major surgery” that has yet to be successfully scheduled, Main’s defense said in court.
The four-week trial is set for July 31.
Main will appear in court for a pre-trial hearing April 2, pending a confirmed surgery date.