A look into Sylvester's past

June 24, 2008 5:30:18 AM PDT
The Pasadena father accused of killing his two children is in the Harris County Jail facing capital murder charges.Now we learn more about Randy Sylvester Sr. Once a promising kid, his mother says something went wrong.

Police say Sylvester led them to where his children's bodies were burned and then buried in a shallow grave in southeast Houston. Their bodies were found early Saturday morning.

Sylvester is charged with two counts of capital murder. The district attorney says he hasn't decided yet whether to seek the death penalty in this case.

After three trips outside the jail, two Pasadena ponds and eventually to where his children's burned bodies were found, Randy Sylvester's movements are now very limited. He is being housed on the jail's second floor, home to the highest security inmates and homicide detectives are denying him all visitors except his attorney. Shackles, handcuffs and a bright yellow jumpsuit set him apart from the other inmates. It's a world apart from where he came.

"I know he was not raised like this," said his mother Alanda Sylvester.

Alanda Sylvester describes her son as a smart boy from New Orleans. He was in gifted classes, she says, in his public school. He played football and the trumpet. He and Jerilynn St Cyr, Denim and Randy Jr.'s mother, were not married, but had been together for years. They were high school sweethearts, but Alanda says their relationship was tumultuous.

"They were always at it for some reason or another," she told us.

So much so that he kept a second apartment. Witnesses say what he called "The Dog House" was full of pornography.

His mother says he was a plumber by trade. According to Pasadena police he was unemployed and we learned on probation at the time of the children's murders. In November he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, though court documents obtained by Eyewitness News show for months he failed to comply with the terms of that probation. He was never brought back to court for a judge to decide whether to revoke it and send him to jail.

"I'm feeling the system failed these two kids, they failed Randy and Denim," said crime victims' advocate Andy Kahan.

While critics examine what went wrong, Sylvester's mother is doing the same. How could her promising son end up like this?

"It is killing me, it is killing me, you don't know how much it is killing me," Alanda said.

Alanda Sylvester says her son has denied killing his kids. She says unless the facts show differently, she has to believe him. But let me be clear, she loved her grandchildren deeply. This is tearing her up as her son sits in jail.

Last night, dozens of mourners and well-wishers attended a memorial at the site where the youngsters' bodies were found. We've learned there's another memorial in the works later this week.

Texas Equusearch members searched for the children, and will host a memorial service Wednesday at 7pm at the Gateway Community Church. That's on Clear Lake City Boulevard in Webster.

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