Crisis In The Family Courts

Officer: Erie [PA] dad admits killing infant daughter

Posted in Uncategorized by abatteredmother on May 31, 2009


Another dad being the stay-at-home parent while mom had to work.

Officer: Erie dad admits killing infant daughter
Davis faces trial in baby’s death

BY LISA THOMPSON [more details]

Published: May 30. 2009 1:15AM

Vincent M. Davis.

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Vincent Davis told police he cared for his infant daughter Savonnia most days while her mother worked.
He called the 5-month-old girl the "love of his life."
But on Feb. 24, when Savonnia began crying, Davis shook her to make her stop, according to an account he gave Erie police.
The child not only stopped crying, she nearly stopped breathing.
Davis called his mother, Savonnia’s mother and a hot line called Ask-A-Nurse for help. But by the time the family got Savonnia to a hospital by taxi cab several hours later, it was too late.
"I killed my baby," Davis told Detective Sgt. Ed Spagel, according to Spagel’s testimony Friday.
Davis, 24, who had no prior criminal record, was ordered held for trial Friday on homicide and related charges after a preliminary hearing before Erie 5th Ward District Judge Joseph Lefaiver.
Davis also faces a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals. Testimony indicated Davis said that on the same morning he shook Savonnia, he also kicked the family’s Jack Russell terrier, Marley. Police found the dog dead in a garbage bag on the front porch.
Spagel was the only witness Friday.
He said police were notified Feb. 24 that a suspected child-abuse victim had been taken to Saint Vincent Health Center. Doctors said Savonnia Davis was bruised, suffering from brain swelling and had difficulty breathing. She was taken to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she died Feb. 26.
Savonnia and her mother lived at 211 E. 30th St. Davis stayed there frequently, but also had his own address in the 2400 block of Parade Street.
Spagel said he interviewed Davis three times.
Davis first said he had cared for Savonnia the morning of Feb. 24 while her mother, Jessica Fox, was at work, but that he did not know what happened to the girl.
On Feb. 26, Davis told the detective that he had dropped Savonnia while placing her in a playpen.
In a third interview on Feb. 27, Spagel said, he confronted Davis with the autopsy results that showed Savonnia had a head injury, retinal bleeding and other signs of trauma, including healing and freshly broken rib bones.
Davis’ head, Spagel said, "dropped."
Davis told Spagel he had shaken Savonnia the morning of Feb. 24 when she began crying and then dropped her to the floor.
Davis is being held without bond in Erie County Prison. He faces felony charges of homicide, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children, and misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person and cruelty to animals.
LISA THOMPSON can be reached at 870-1802 or by e-mail.

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