PERRY — A Houston County grand jury Tuesday indicted a Warner Robins couple accused of the starvation death of their 2-year-old son on charges of malice murder, felony murder, two counts of cruelty to children and two counts of aggravated battery, a prosecutor said.
Houston County District Attorney Rabb Wilkerson said the grand jury also found that there are aggravating circumstances in the death of D’Shawn Davis to warrant seeking the death penalty against the parents, but that decision will not be made until after the Nov. 2 election.
The parents, Sade Shamon King, 23, and William Thomas Davis III, 25, were being held Tuesday in the Houston County jail without bond.
The cruelty to children charges are based on allegations that the parents failed to provide food and to seek medical care for the child, Wilkerson said. The two counts of aggravated battery are based on the parents failure to provide food and medical care for the child and for the sores and abscesses on the child in the rectum area, Wilkerson said.
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The boy weighed 12 pounds and 6 ounces at his death, sheriff’s investigators said. His rectum showed signs of having been left in his own urine and feces, according to Houston County sheriff’s Sgt. Darin Meadows, a sheriff’s investigator assigned to juvenile crimes.
The autopsy ruled the cause of death as malnutrition, according to Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin.
The attorney for the child’s father is exploring the possibility that the boy suffered from a medical condition that led to his malnourished state.
Houston County Public Defender Nick White prevously told The Telegraph the he had received “third party” accounts that Davis and King were feeding the child, yet he failed to thrive. Friends and family said the couple was seeking medical attention for the child, White said.
Wilkerson said the groundwork has been laid for the death penalty to be sought in the case but out of respect for the election process and for the consistency of the case, that decision will not be made until after the election, he said.
Wilkerson, who was appointed district attorney by Governor Sonny Perdue to fill a vacancy in the post until the election after Kelly Burke stepped down mid-term, is among three candidates running for the post. The other candidates Arthur Creque, chief assistant solicitor for State Court in Houston County and George Hartwig, senior assistant district attorney for Houston County.
Staff writer Jennifer Burk contributed to this article. For more on this story, come back later to macon.com or read Wednesday’s Telegraph. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.