Adriana M. Chávez
Jurors in the capital murder trial of a 33-year-old woman accused in her goddaughter's beating death will begin hearing closing arguments this afternoon.

Shawntrell Dawkins is charged with capital murder, murder and injury to a child in the death of Milayna Harris, 2, in April 2008. If convicted of capital murder, she faces an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

State prosecutors Penny Hamilton and Holly Rodriguez rested their case on Tuesday evening. Defense attorneys Stuart Leeds and Victor Parra did not call any witnesses and also rested their case.

This week, the jury of seven men and five women heard testimony about Milayna's injuries, which included numerous bruises throughout her body.

Dawkins told police she called 911 after the girl became unresponsive following a fall from the stairs of Dawkins' apartment in the 7900 block of Viscount.

Dawkins and her husband, Nakia Dawkins, who at the time of Milayna's death was an Army staff sergeant stationed at Fort Bliss, were caring for Milayna and her 4-year-old brother. Milayna's parents, who were also soldiers in the Army at the time, were stationed overseas.

During this week's trial, defense attorneys have argued it may have been Nakia Dawkins who caused the girl's death.

Shawntrell Dawkins has been jailed since her 2008 arrest.

A jury convicted Nakia Dawkins of injury to a child in 2010 and has been jailed since then awaiting sentencing. The same jury deadlocked on a sentence.