Father charged with murder in son’s death

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Davis accused of ‘intentionally’ abusing 1-month-old child

By Sarah Bennett

A Radcliff man accused of lying to police earlier this month about his 1-month-old son’s death pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to upgraded charges of murder and abuse.

Jarrod D. Davis, 23, was indicted Thursday into Hardin Circuit Court on charges of murder and first-degree criminal abuse.

Davisoriginally told police Jan. 15 he found his son, Ja’Vion Davis, dead in his crib, according to the Radcliff Police Department. It was only after police confronted him a second time that Davis stated he had dropped Ja’Vion, causing the baby to hit his head on the side of a crib.

When police arrested Davis on Jan. 16, he was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

According to the indictment, Davis “wantonly engaged in conduct that created a grave risk of death to (Ja’Vion) and thereby caused the death of (Ja’Vion).”

The indictment also states between Jan. 4 and Jan. 15, Davis “intentionally” abused the 1-month-old child.

In a court document, Judge Kelly Mark Easton referenced the baby’s blunt force head injury and a “history of prior trauma” in the decision regarding Davis’ conditions of release should he post bond.

When asked Tuesday about the new charges, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young said he could not comment about evidence in the case.

“That’s what the grand jury chose to indict on,” Young said.

Hardin County Coroner Dr. Bill Lee said preliminary autopsy results revealed several severe injuries. However, he said those results do not indicate the age of injuries.

Complete autopsy results will not be available for several weeks, Lee said.

Davisremains lodged at the Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond.

During an arraignment Tuesday in Judge Ken Howard’s courtroom, Davis requested representation by the Department of Public Advocacy. A status of counsel hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.

A pretrial conference also was set for March 26. At this time, a jury trial date has not been set.

AssistantCommonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Logsdon is lead prosecutor in the case, Young said. The assistant prosecutor focuses on cases involving child victims.

The case was presented to the grand jury as a direct indictment, meaning it still was pending in Hardin District Court and a preliminary hearing had not been held.

An indictment is an allegation, not proof of guilt. Davis is innocent until proven guilty.

According to Kentucky Revised Statutes, murder is a Class A felony, which is punishable by 20 to 50 years or life in prison if found guilty.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.