Victims’ Mother Testifies in Arson/Murder Trial

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SCRANTON -- A mother from Scranton took the stand Tuesday in the trial for the murder of two of her sons.

The boys' mother Tyaisha Leary was on the stand for more than an hour Tuesday afternoon. First, describing to a judge how her relationship with William Woods became violent, and how she had no doubt that he set the fire at her home that killed her nine and ten-year old sons.

Newswatch 16 spoke with Tyaisha Leary afterwards and she says telling her side of the story in the courtroom was a relief.

Leary says she’s been waiting for her day in court for more than three years, finally a chance to testify against the man she says killed two of her sons.

On the stand in Lackawanna County Court in Scranton, Leary went back to July 21st of 2009. Leary testified, as she watched her home on South Hyde Park Avenue burn, she knew her ex-boyfriend William Woods had set the fire.

Leary’s sons 9-year-old Taevon Miles and 10-year-old Michael Miles were trapped in the fire and later died because of burns and breathing in too much smoke.

William Woods was charged with their murder and arson in 2010.

"It’s a relief, even though I’ve been talking about this for years, I’ve been waiting for it to happen. All the delays, and more delays, it’s like a punch in the gut each time," Leary said after her testimony.

Leary testified for more than an hour describing the man William Woods was when they met in 2005 and the violent man he became when their relationship ended in 2009.

Leary told the judge that Woods began threatening her, so she filed a protection from abuse order against him in July of 2009. Four days later, Leary woke up to her home in flames. Taevon and Michael Miles died later at the hospital.

"I’ll never get over it, it’s every day, it’s loss of sleep, it’s nightmares, I mean it just goes on. Seeing their friends grow up and just trying to imagine what they would have been like," Leary added.

Leary says she will continue to sit in on the trial at the Lackawanna County Courthouse in hopes of hearing a guilty verdict sometime next week.

That’s when prosecutors say the trial should wrap up.

There’s no jury in this trial, a judge will decide the verdict for William Woods.