Murder, Rape Suspect Bound Over For Trial

By: Giang Nguyen Email
By: Giang Nguyen Email

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Judge David Debenham bound Billy Davis over for trial Wednesday morning (6/13). Arraignment in the case set for June 19th.

Billy Frank Davis, Jr. is held on charges including capital murder (with an alternative count of first degree murder), rape of a child, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary.

At the hearing Wednesday, Shawnee County coroner Dr. Don Pojman testified Ahliyah died from a lack of oxygen to the brain.

On cross-examination - Davis' defense attorney asked if she could've been rendered unconscious, then died from asphyxiation after Davis put her in a basement dryer.

The coroner answered, "Yes."

Officer Scott Dickey with the Topeka Police Department's crime scene investigations unit told the court he interviewed Billy Davis shortly after he was captured the morning of March 13.

The defendant, he said, admitted to a couple burglaries on Bellview before entering Apt. E on 2421 SE Bellview and kidnapping the sleeping Ahliyah. He took her to 2413 SE Bellview Apt. F. She would not be quiet, so he hit her face, Dickey said as sobs erupted from family members and friends in the courtroom.

Davis also admitted he put her in a rear naked chokehold, a type of maneuver to quiet her down, Dickey said, then stuffed her in the dryer.

On cross-examination, it was revealed that Davis also told the investigator that he was drunk, had used cocaine and suffered from PTSD.

Attorney Mark Manna said Davis spoke to the Dickey about his military service and that he was on disability from PTSD after having served in Iraq.

The defense attorney argued that Ahliyah's death was not premediated and that Davis applied the chokehold to keep her quiet and believed she was unconscious when he stuffed her in the dryer to hide her from police.

His intention was to leave later drop her off somewhere and hoping "she would forget," Manna said.

Judge David Debenham said prosecutors met the the burden of proof - that there is probable cause that a crime was committed by the defendant. He bound Davis over with an arraignment set for Tuesday, June 19.

From Tuesday, June 12:

The mother of a little girl who was kidnapped and murdered, had an outburst in court today at a hearing of her daughter's accused killer. Angela Ortega was the third witness called in the preliminary hearing for 28-year-old Billy Davis Jr.

Davis is charged with capital murder, premeditated first-degree murder, rape of a child, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated battery related to the March 13 death of Ortega's eight-year-old daughter, Ahliyah Irvin. Ortega's emotions took over when she was asked to look at pieces of evidence, pictures of her daughter Ahliyah, bruised and bandaged.

She yelled out, "How could you do this to her?" repeatedly, her hands slamming on the table. " What did she do to you? How could you do this to an innocent girl?" she said, sobbing.

Proceedings were interrupted for a few minutes when Ortega left courtroom 309 - her searing sobs audible inside the room.

Officer Michael Ahlstedt testified first Tuesday morning in Judge David Debenham's courtroom at the Shawnee County courthouse. His voice broke as he told prosecutors about finding Ahliyah's body in a dryer in unit F at 2413 Southeast Bellview of the Highland Park Apartments complex, where Davis was staying that night.

He said he found blood on the basement floor and checked the dryer - it was full of clothes, but he saw hair among them, then Ahliyah's bruised face. Witnesses testified Ahliyah and her mother were sleeping at a friend's house with six others the night of March 12, 2012 - with Ahliyah sleeping on the living room couch, before she was snatched from the apartment, unit E, at 2421 Bellview.

Witness Kanesha Mock, who slept in the living room with her, said she awoke some time before 4 or 5 a.m. to the sound of the front door open and closing and saw seconds of the back of a black male, carrying the girl.

"I saw Ahliyah's hair going out the door," she said.

The tenant of the unit where Davis was staying the night Ahliyah was found, said she was working the night shift. She had left Davis at home to "babysit" her 3-year-old son, sleeping upstairs. Another man also stayed at the house, sleeping in another upstairs room at the time.

Alyssa Giancana said she came home briefly at about 2 a.m. Davis was restless, pacing the apartment and saying that "he needed sex, but didn't have the money to pay," she said.

Another witness, a Stormont Vail nurse told the court a sexual assault exam performed on Ahliyah after she died. She found signs of laceration, tears and bruising indicating that the girl had been sexually assaulted.

In a testy exchange between a witness and Deputy District Attorney Jacquie Spradling, DaShawn Hughes, was briefly held in contempt of the court and given six months of jail. Hughes' profane-laden exchange with Spradling and refusal to follow court procedures by refusing to answer the attorney's questions on whether he had previously told police he heard a scream and saw the defendant slapping someone at the house. Hughes had stopped by that night to pay a visit the second man at the house when Davis opened the door.

Hughes wore shackles during the hearing, he is in jail in an unrelated case. He eventually cooperated and Judge Debenham purged his jail sentence for contempt. Hughes only admitted that he heard a scream and saw Davis moving toward the basement, as Hughes was leaving the house. He also said, he was "high" on drugs that night.

Prosecutors called 22 witnesses Tuesday. The hearing will continue Wednesday.


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