Good Samaritan tells of rescue effort
A passer-by tells the judge hearing a murder trial that the victim bled so much that it warmed the sidewalk.
The beating that killed Allyson Archibald was so severe that a passer-by who ran barefoot to render aid could feel the 18-year-old Springfield woman’s blood warming the cold, wet sidewalk, the would-be rescuer testified Tuesday at the trial of the man who is alleged to have killed Archibald.
Robert Darnell Boyd, now 29, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted of intentionally killing Archibald. His attorney, Marc Friedman, said there is no evidence that Boyd meant to kill Archibald, with whom he’d had an on-and-off relationship before her death on Nov. 28, 2010.
The passer-by, Brandi Weimer, testified that she and three other people were heading to Weimer’s nearby home from a Eugene nightclub about 2:30 a.m. when they noticed Boyd appearing “confrontational” with the much smaller Archibald. The group’s designated driver stopped her pickup truck and shouted, “Are you OK?” to Archibald, Weimer said.
The young woman “very confidently” answered that she was fine, Weimer recounted. But Boyd walked to the truck “in a very aggressive manner,” she continued, telling its passengers they needed to mind their own business and leave. The group drove away, Weimer said, but were concerned enough about Boyd’s threatening demeanor to call police immediately and “loop back around the block to make sure (Archibald) was safe,” Weimer testified.
That’s when they saw Boyd running away and Archibald collapsed on a sidewalk in the 400 block of West Fairview Drive, she said.
Weimer did not waste time putting her shoes on before running from the truck to assist Archibald. She wept Tuesday as she described the young woman’s grave injuries to Lane County Circuit Judge Lauren Holland.
“It was cold and raining, (but) when I got toward her, it was warm on my feet,” Weimer told Holland, who is deciding the case instead of a jury at Boyd’s request.
Archibald was bleeding from multiple facial lacerations, including an ear nearly torn from her head, and was making gurgling sounds, Weimer said.
“I tried to swab her mouth to help her breathe,” she testified. “I also told her, ‘We’re here,’ and that there was help on the way.”
Archibald soon stopped breathing, however, and Weimer began chest compressions to keep her heart pumping. A police officer, and then paramedics, relieved Weimer in trying to resuscitate the teen, but Archibald was pronounced dead at the scene.
Defense attorney Marc Friedman joined prosecutor Steve Morgan in praising as “remarkable” Weimer’s efforts to care for an injured stranger. Friedman also called it “a good thing” that she and the three other people in the pickup stopped to confront the couple after witnessing their dispute.
But he asked Holland to consider how Boyd perceived that confrontation, as well as his “mindset and mental state” when he fatally injured Archibald. Friedman said Boyd would testify in his own defense that he did not recall the assault and did not intend to kill her.
The defense lawyer also said he would challenge Boyd’s “alleged” confession to a Springfield police officer after his apprehension. Friedman also said he would present testimony from a psychologist that Boyd was in a dissociative state at the time of the fatal assault.
Morgan disagreed that Boyd didn’t know what he was doing when he killed Archibald. Boyd told a Springfield police detective that Archibald hit him, making him so angry that he wanted to “bash her head in.”
“What he felt like doing is what he did, and that’s murder,” the Lane County Deputy District Attorney said.
The trial continues today and is expected to conclude by the end of the week.
At the time of her death, Archibald was the mother of a 6-month-old son — not Boyd’s child; she was a student at Springfield’s alternative Gateways High School. One side of the courtroom Tuesday was packed with young women, many of whom had been her classmates.