Trial begins for man accused of beating young girl

The trial opened Thursday for a man accused of beating a 7-year-old girl last summer in a midtown neighborhood.

Prosecutor Heather Nobrega said Byron Syvinski attacked Am-Marie Martin after she refused to give him the bike she was riding on Eide Street. Martin suffered a head injury and spent over a week in the hospital. Witnesses said Syvinski was acting strange and was possibly intoxicated. He is also charged with assaulting a neighbor just before the attack on the girl.

Syvinski faces two counts of first degree assault, one count of second degree assault, two counts of third degree assault, and one count of first degree robbery for what happened with Martin. He faces one count of forth degree assault for the attack on the neighbor.

Syvinski's attorney Krista Maciolek told jurors that Syvinski admitted to hurting the girl, but there was not enough evidence to convict him of robbery and the most serious assault charges.

The trial continues Monday.

Anchorage Daily News /