SOUTHLAKE (CBSDFW.COM) – Testimony is underway in the trial of a Southlake swim coach accused of criminal negligence in the drowning of one of her students in June of 2016.
Family members say Elise Cerami, 13, loved to swim and was at home in the water. But, the mystery in this heartbreak is what happened in the water that morning she silently drowned surrounded by teammates in the pool. Prosecutors told jurors today that her coach, Tracey Boyd, is responsible for the death because she should have been supervising the swim team, and wasn’t.
Tarrant County Assistant District Attorneys Vincent Giardino and David Alex today focused heavily on surveillance camera footage from the Carroll Aquatics Center. They say there’s a 9 minute lapse during which Boyd isn’t visible– and when she reappears, it is with a cup in her hand.
Boyd’s defense team, George Mackey and Sherry Armstrong insist that Boyd never left the pool area, but she was simply out of the camera’s view.
Flanked by supporters, Boyd remained stoic during much of the day’s testimony, but could be seen wiping away tears when prosecutions played video from inside the center where Cerami could be seen heading to the pool for the final time.
Boyd has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Supporters say she is being made a scapegoat for a situation that is a horrible accident.
Meanwhile, family and friends say the hole in their hearts will never heal and there are no winners as the case moves through the courts.
Her mother, Lori Cerami released a statement thanking for the DA’s office and Southlake Police for their work on the case, and also adding, “We hope this case influences aquatic professionals to re-evaluate their safety standards and that parents are encouraged to have water safety conversations.”
The family has also created a foundation in Elise’s memory to raise awareness of swim safety.
Testimony resumes Wednesday morning in the 432nd District Court.