Georgia mother sentenced to 200 years in prison for child abuse

CALHOUN, Ga. — A Calhoun woman was sentenced to 200 years in prison and 200 years probation after she pleaded guilty to 42 counts of child abuse against her nine children, District Attorney Shannon Wallace announced in a news release.

Stephanie Danielle Davis, 37, and Christopher Matthew Davis, 43, were arrested in 2020.

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The case first came to light in February 2020 when a teenage boy told the Calhoun Police Department he escaped from the home after his stepfather abused him, including punching, beating with objects and burning. The boy had visible injuries and a broken eardrum, the new release said.

Police searched the home and arrested Christopher Davis. He was found guilty on 47 counts of child abuse and received two consecutive life sentences plus 841 years.

Officers said that the children, age 3 to 17, didn’t have adequate clothing or bedding, and the only heated rooms were the parents’ bedroom and a closet housing snakes and other reptiles. Investigators also found objects they said were used to beat the children.

Prosecutors said abuses included limiting food and water, forcing children to eat spoiled food and locking the children upstairs when the parents were away. They also said that the children would be locked in a closet with no heat or bathroom and forced to sit in fire ant piles.

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The children were homeschooled at the time, but previously had attended public schools, where counselors had reported suspected abuse to the Division of Family & Child Services in 2019. Investigators said that after the children were taken out of public schools the abuse increased.

Stephanie Davis was arrested after investigators determined she had participated in the abuse.

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“The abuse these nine children suffered at the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Davis was horrendous,” said Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Katie Gropper. “While Stephanie Davis initially painted herself as a helpless victim, the evidence demonstrated her extensive involvement. She not only held the children down while they were beaten and burned by her husband Christopher Davis, but also crafted cover stories for the children to tell their teachers and DFCS if they were ever asked about their injuries. Her efforts to influence and manipulate the children to recant their allegations continued even after her arrest.”

Two of the children provided statements during their mother’s sentencing.

“These children are now able to live freely, without fear, and to rise above this trauma,” Cherokee County District Attorney Shannon Wallace said.

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