Medical examiner: Warner Robins child starved over long period of time/ D’Shawn Davis

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Normal Medical examiner: Warner Robins child starved over long period of time/ D’Shawn Davis

Post by mary.cole.144 on Tue May 15, 2012 3:35 pm

By BECKY PURSER — [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Posted: 1:57pm on May 15, 2012; Modified: 1:59pm on May 15, 2012



PERRY ­-- The Houston County medical examiner testified Tuesday that 2-year-old D’Shawn Davis had to have been starved for an extended period of time for his body to deteriorate to the condition it was at his death in 2010.

Dr. James Whitaker also testified the boy likely experienced pain and suffering while he was given some food and water but deprived of the amount needed for normal sustenance and growth in the last year of his life.

The boy’s father, 27-year-old William Thomas Davis III, is on trial in Houston County Superior Court on charges of malice murder, felony murder, cruelty to children and aggravated battery in the Sept. 11, 2010 death. Davis pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.

Davis waived his right to a jury trial Monday, and his case is being heard by Judge Katherine K. Lumsden.

Lumsden sentenced the boy’s mother, 24-year-old Sade Shamon King, to life in prison with the possibility of parole after King pleaded guilty to felony murder and cruelty to children May 3. The other charges against her were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. She’s expected to serve 30 years in prison before she is eligible for parole consideration.

The boy weighed 12 pounds, 6 ounces at his death.

The crux of the defense is that Davis was working extremely long hours at an auto body shop in Warner Robins in the weeks preceding the boy’s death and was not aware of the child’s deteriorated condition. Davis was the sole bread winner, and the mother was responsible for care of the children, the defense argued. The boy’s older sister, who was 5 at the time, was healthy and well fed, according to earlier testimony.

Unlike a jury trial, the father’s bench trial allows for the judge to ask questions of witnesses.

After much back and forth between Whitaker and the defense attorney, Lumsden asked a three-part question.

The judge wanted to know whether Whitaker could say the boy’s starvation took place over a significant period of time of reduced caloric intake or over a short amount of time after a sudden absence of sustenance, or if Whitaker was unable to be determine either way.

Whitaker responded that based on the great amount of weight loss and lack of growth of the boy’s organs and muscles that the starvation was caused by a decreased amount of nutrition over a long period of time.

Back and forth between Whitaker and public defender Nick White was over testimony from Whitaker that the starvation likely started between August and November 2009. Whitaker testified he based that on the fact the boy was healthy and growing normally at his last pediatric appointment in August 2009, and the parents skipped the next scheduled appointment in November of 2009. Whitaker said signs that something was wrong would have been evident to a physician at the November 2009 appointment.

Whitaker later testified that he charted what the normal growth would have been and what it was at the autopsy to determine the starvation took place during an extended period of time as the boy’s body steadily declined and deteriorated.

Also, Whitaker earlier responded to a question from the defense that he would disagree that the starvation could have taken place during a period of 18 to 19 days if another medical expert were to testify to that.

Whitaker also discussed autopsy photos of the boy, which could not be seen by those in the courtroom but were shown to Whitaker and the judge.

Dr. Belinda Stephens Hodges, the boy’s pediatrician, testified that for the first year of his life, he received periodic wellness checks and was growing like a normal boy. She last examined him in August 2009.

Houston County sheriff’s Sgt. Doug Blackmon testified that he “felt sick” when he first saw the boy’s body in the ambulance and asked another investigator to take photos of the body.

Blackmon testified Davis told him his varied work days started at 7 or 8 a.m. and extended to 9 or 10 p.m. Sometimes, Davis was home earlier. Other times, he worked all night, Blackmon said.

Blackmon testified Davis told him the way he got paid at the body shop was when the job was finished, so Davis sometimes would work all night.

The investigator testified Davis told him he would leave before the children were up and return home most of the time without seeing them, just taking a shower and lying down.

Davis also told the investigator he never fed the boy or changed his diapers, and he “hadn’t lately” checked on his children when he returned from work, Blackmon testified.

Davis also said it had been “several weeks” since he last saw the boy and it “had been a long time” since Davis had played with him, Blackmon told the judge.

Blackmon also testified the mother told him it was her responsibility to take care of the children and that the boy’s condition was her fault.

More testimony is expected Tuesday afternoon. The trial is expected to last at least through Thursday.

For more on this story, come back later to macon.com. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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Normal Father in starved child death gets 10 years

Post by raine1953 on Wed May 22, 2013 12:37 am

May 17, 2012
PERRY - A Warner Robins father has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the starvation death of his 2-year-old son nearly two years ago.
The Telegraph of Macon (http://bit.ly/JPj5fr ) reports that 27-year-old William Thomas Davis III was found guilty Thursday on involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges.
WMAZ-TV reports that Davis, who has spent about two years in jail, was also given credit for time already served.
Davis' girlfriend Sade Shamon King was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the Sept. 11, 2010 death of their son, D'Shawn Davis.
Sherriff's investigators say their son weighed 12 pounds and 6 ounces at his death, and an autopsy ruled the toddler's cause of death as malnutrition.
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