Davis charged with murder, torture

September 5, 2008 6:59:03 PM PDT
An Antioch woman was formally charged with murder, torture and child abuse in the death of her niece. Shemeeka Davis is in custody for the death of 15-year-old Jazzmin Davis, and the torture and child abuse of Jazzmin's twin brother. Both were under the supervision of Child Protective Services in San Francisco.

Shemeeka Davis could face life in prison if convicted of the multiple felony counts filed against her. It is not a death penalty case because prosecutors said there is no clear evidence that the murder was premeditated or deliberant, that is despite their indications that the abuse was long-term and systematic.

Shameeka Davis made her first appearance in a Martinez courtroom, charged with the torture and murder of her niece and foster child, 15-year-old Jazzmin Davis.

"She suffered a multitude of blows, at a multitude of times, with a multitude of instruments that all, that all in the long run, contributed to her death," said Contra Costa County prosecutor Hal Jewett.

The 37-year-old Davis did not enter a plea. Her bail was set at $1.5 million.

She is charged with five felony counts, including the murder, torture and child abuse of Jazzmin that caused great bodily harm or death, as well as the torture and the abuse of Jazzmin's twin brother.

"She was whipped with numerous implements that included plastic belts, dress belts, canvas dress belts and electrical cords," said Lt Leonard Orman from Antioch Police.

The hearing comes one day after Antioch Police detailed findings from Jazzmin's autopsy that reveal repeated abuse the prosecutor claims dates back to June of 2007.

Though the family lived in Antioch for eight years, the Foster Care was under the supervision of the San Francisco Human Services Agency.

Because it was a long-term arrangement, San Francisco officials say a case worker was only required to visit the home once every six months. The last visit was in March of this year.

"The home appeared clean. They had their own rooms," said Trent Rhorer from San Francisco Human Services. "There just was no red flag for our case worker."

One red flag could've been the fact that Jazzmin Davis hadn't attended an Antioch public school after October 2007.

"A report card was presented and the Antioch Police actually commented to me that they felt the report card could've been doctored," said Rhorer."It seems there might have been some shielding going on by the aunt."

Davis will be back in court on September 26th to enter a plea. In the meantime, the autopsy of Jazzmin was essentially completed on Friday morning, but the coroner says he will not release a cause of death until they get the results from toxicology tests, and those could take four to six weeks.


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