A very different story emerged Monday from an attempted-murder suspect regarding the events of June 16, a day that prosecutors say the man and his two children tried to kill his ex-wife.
From the witness stand, Arthur Davis III, 61, portrayed himself as a loving father and hero, telling a Douglas County jury that he was coming to the aid of his 12-year-old daughter, who said she had been attacked by her mother.
“She said, ‘Dad, come. Mom said she’s going to kill me,’” Davis testified, claiming his girl hit her mother with a baseball bat to protect herself.
Prosecutors have claimed the man’s 15-year-old son attacked the woman multiple times with a bat while she was asleep in bed, and that the defendant kidnapped the woman and can be heard on a 911 call encouraging his son to hit the woman “harder, harder, harder” with the bat.
Davis admitted that was his voice on the 911 call, but said he was trying to help his daughter break free from her mother’s grip and was yelling at the girl to pull away.
As for the large amounts of blood found throughout the house, Davis claimed his daughter had earlier witnessed the woman staggering around and wiping blood on the hallway walls and in parts of the master bedroom. He said the woman also attacked his son.
Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan reminded Davis of his daughter’s testimony, which said the defendant and the children had come up with a plan in which they would say the mother tried to kill the girl and that she acted in self-defense with the bat.
“Your testimony here today is basically ‘the plan,’” McGowan told Davis, during her cross-examination of the defendant.
The girl, who is now 13, was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against her father. She was initially charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the June 16 attack, which left the victim with head wounds and bruises.
Davis is charged with attempted first-degree murder in the case, which will enter day seven of its jury trial on Wednesday.
The alleged attack occurred during a heated child custody dispute and only a few days after the family learned that a psychiatrist had recommended that the girl continue living with her mother instead of with the defendant.
Earlier on Monday, the jury viewed a police interview with Davis’ daughter, who has said she participated in the attack on her 45-year-old mother.
“He (the brother) was yelling at me to hit her,” the girl said. “I did hit her once.”
On multiple occasions, the girl said she couldn’t remember certain portions of the event, using expressions like “I was off in my own little world,” “It was fuzzy,” “I don’t remember,” and “This part confuses me.”
The girl said she did remember her brother yelling at her to call their father, while her mother was screaming at her to call 911.
“I just thought it might be better if I called Dad,” the girl said in the interview. Prosecutors said that’s when Davis came over to the woman’s house and participated in the attack.
Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for Tuesday morning.
The son is being tried separately as a juvenile, though prosecutors have said they’ll offer him a plea deal reducing his charge from attempted first-degree murder to aggravated battery.