SHADMIA'S WORLD

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Mom, Grandma Charged in Girl’s Death

Posted by shadmia on February 19, 2008

Hannah Davenport of Anderson, Mo. was 6-years-old when she died on Jan. 29th 2005. At the time of her death she weighed 27 lbs and was 3 feet 4 inches tall. Her mother Karen Davenport, 31, of Bentonville, Ark., and her grandmother Linda Walsham, 52, of Neosho, Mo., were originally charged with one count each of voluntary manslaughter or, in the alternative, one count each of involuntary manslaughter in early February 2005 by then-McDonald County Prosecutor Steve Geeding. Geeding’s successor, Janice Durbin, dismissed those charges in the spring of 2007 so they could be replaced with murder charges.

“It was just based on the facts of the case,” Durbin said, referring to why she filed more severe charges.

The two women now face a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Hannah Davenport. Linda Walsham was bound over to McDonald County Circuit Court after waiving her preliminary hearing late last week. The charge against Karen Davenport, the mother of the victim, is still making its way through McDonald County Associate Circuit Court.

Hannah was born with a defect in her digestive track. At the age of 2 years old she underwent surgery. Her doctors saw her frequently and ordered a special diet of soft food for the little girl. In filing charges against the two women, prosecutors said that they(the two women) ignored the advice of the doctors, resulting in the girl’s death.

On Jan. 29, 2005 a call was placed to 911 stating that a child was unconscious and was not breathing at the Davenport’s home in Anderson. When emergency personnel arrived at the house they found Walsham and one of Hannah’s uncles doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) on the girl. An ambulance took her to Goodman where she was met by a helicopter which transported her to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, where she later was declared dead.

McDonald County sheriff’s Deputy Gregg Sweeten wrote in his affidavit that a doctor at the hospital later voiced concerns about malnutrition and neglect involving Hannah. An autopsy later determined that malnutrition and dehydration were the causes of Hannah’s death. An arraignment in the case of Linda Walsham has been set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 4, in McDonald County Circuit Court. A pretrial conference in the case of Karen Davenport has been set for 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25, in associate court.

 

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One Response to “Mom, Grandma Charged in Girl’s Death”

  1. Nikki said

    New evidence was provided that supported the change of the charges. Due to the efforts of a private investigator who was originally contacted by the mother Karen Davenport for assistance in clearing her. However, as evidence was gathered and the behavior of the accused became bazaar the investigator could do nothing to assist in helping the mother. The investigator continued to document the accused behavior and worked pro bono, endlessly studying the autopsy report and gathering evidence for 2 years to give Hannah a voice. The investigators work was turned over to the prior prosecuting attorney. That former passed the investigator work to the current prosecutor who dropped the mans lauder charges and brought charges against Hannah’s mother and grand mother for murder in the 2nd.

    Nikki Fitzgerald
    Armed Private Investigator
    fitzgeraldagency@aol.com

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