On Thursday, Mar. 13, Kilah Davenport died after being severely beaten by her stepfather. The four-year-old child was left with permanent brain damage.
According to the Daily Mail, Davenport passed just three weeks before her 5th birthday due to complications associated with the brutal May 2012 attack. An announcement of the child’s death was also posted to the Kilah Davenport Foundation site.
“I write this page with a heavy heart… Kilah Davenport passed away today at 6:08pm, 03/12/2014.”
The publication reports that the toddler suffered from a fractured her skull as a result of her stepfather ramming her head through a wall after she soiled herself.
The child’s stepfather, Joshua Houser, a native of Indian Trail, NC, was convicted of felony child abuse and inflicting serious bodily harm. On February 27, 2014 Houser was found guilty after the jury deliberated for approximately six hours. He received a sentence of seven to ten years in prison.
The publication reports that Houser displayed an “astonishing show of mercy following the conviction.” Surprisingly, the child’s mother Kirbi Davenport even revealed that she has since forgiven her ex-husband.
“I have no ill feelings towards Josh,” she told WBTV. “I forgive him for what he’s done even though he won’t say that he’s sorry – or that he did it.” Davenport even expressed her aspirations for her child’s future.
“She’s gonna walk, she gonna go to prom, she’s gonna get married, she’s gonna have kids, she’s gonna be Kilah again. She’s gonna be out dancing and that’s my main focus.”
Prosecutors claimed that Houser had been babysitting the child while her mother was at work. The prosecution also purported that after the toddler soiled herself, Houser picked her up “smashed her head into a wall ‘like a battering ram’, rendering her unconscious.”
Medical reports stated that the child suffered damage to approximately 90% of her brain. A portion of her skull also needed to be removed due to the immense level of swelling she suffered on the brain. The child was confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk or talk as a result of the attack. Houser’s sentence was based on the attack alone, as the child didn’t pass until weeks after he was sentenced.
The Union County District Attorney’s Office has not confirmed whether additional charges will be brought against Houser in light of the child’s death. Her story made national headlines, and became the inspiration for Kilah’s Law. The Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act 2013 Legislation would increase stringent penalties in North Carolina for felony child abuse cases.
In April of 2013, NC Governor Pat McCrory officially signed Kilah’s Law. Now, the family is campaigning to have the law enforced nationwide.
Image(s) via Kilah Davenport Foundation, Facebook