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Davis evades execution in toddler killing

Published: Thu, April 7, 2011 @ 12:09 a.m.


Shawn Edward Davis

Baby’s killer spared death penalty in deal

By Elise Franco



Shawn E. Davis saved his own life, one year to the day after he took the life of 23-month-old Makenzie McBride.

Davis, 26, of Austintown, entered guilty pleas Wednesday to one count of aggravated murder and one count of domestic violence before Judge Maureen A. Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

As a result of the agreement, a death-penalty specification was dropped. Davis now will spend his life in prison without the possibility of parole, said Rebecca Doherty, an assistant county prosecutor.

The agreement “was due to the fact that we certainly can’t ever guarantee the outcome of a trial,” she said. “Life without parole has no appellate issue and nothing down the road that could change it.

“He will never see the light of day. He will die in prison.”

Makenzie died April 6, 2010, after she was rushed to Akron Children’s Hospital with a skull fracture and severe bruising on her face. Her death was ruled homicide by the Summit County coroner — blunt-force trauma to the head.

Thomas Zena, Davis’ attorney, said his client took responsibility for Makenzie’s death.

“In the sense that [Davis] is not going to face the death penalty, if that’s called satisfied, then that’s what we are,” Zena said. “Is it better to take the chance on the death penalty, or is it better to control your own fate?”

Doherty said Makenzie’s father, Louis McBride (Shannon McBride’s ex-husband), gave a statement during Wednesday’s hearing and is satisfied with Davis’ sentence.

“A plea to life without parole is something, in many situations, we strive for,” Doherty said. “We didn’t have to put the family through an agonizing trial ... Going through a trial like this is agonizing for everybody involved.”

Makenzie’s mother, Shannon McBride, 23, of North Navarre Avenue, entered a plea agreement June 4, 2010, to obstructing justice and permitting child abuse, according to court records.

McBride was present during the incident that killed Makenzie and did nothing to stop Davis, according to police records.

In the plea agreement, an aggravated-murder charge against her and the death-penalty specification accompanying it were dropped, and she agreed to testify truthfully against Davis — her co-defendant and former boyfriend.

McBride was released from jail after her plea because she was pregnant.

That baby, fathered by Davis, and another child are in the custody of Shannon McBride’s mother.

Another daughter is in the custody of her own father, Louis McBride.

Shannon McBride’s sentencing hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but Doherty said it should be within the next week or two.

She said she couldn’t comment on a recommended sentence for McBride, but Davis’ agreement said the state and the defense agreed on community control.

“[Davis] was very concerned about the co-defendant. He didn’t feel she did anything wrong,” Zena said. “He agreed to plea guilty if she’d be given probation.”


1palefoot(35 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

So she stands by while one child is abused so badly she ends up dead, but receives no punishment and is already having more children? Anybody else see something wrong here?

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2Photoman(1246 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I see much wrong with our judicial system in this case. No matter the age of the victim, both the mother and the killer would appear to be guilty of murder. Both should realize the full force of justice and we shouldn't even be considering paying the cost of a lifetime of imprisonment.

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3Seeitcoming(10 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Unless I am mistaken this women has had 4 kids with 3 different men by the age of 23! How does she support them?
Then, she allows boyfriend of the week to kill her BABY. I would like to see her get life for being a leech on society and a moron. Too bad the judge can order her to be sterilized---which is needed asap.

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4angelohio(19 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree with you photoman. This mother should be charged with murder she stood by and did nothing to save her child. She seems like a baby machine and has no interest in her children if she could allow her child to be killed right in front of her. I think she should be sterilized so she can no longer have children for her boyfriends to abuse. I hope none of her children are ever returned to her

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5steelwagon(284 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

The so called mother is as guilty as Davis.
Both should be on death row.
All we can hope for now is some prison justice for this gutless scumbag.

There should be no plea bargian for beating a baby to death.
If that's not a capital case nothing is.
I resent having to pay for the pos keep until he dies.....and hopefully it's soon and painful !!!

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6mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

There should be no plea bargain in the beating death of a child. Where is the justice for this poor child? Both of these morons should be on death row. Please pray for this child.

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7vinglass(295 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

I agree that sometimes plea bargains are necessary, but not in this case!! For God's sake, he beat a baby to death!! Getting sick of these constant plea bargains from our prosecutors

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8seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Let's all say it at one time: WHITE TRASH!!! Pieces of sh-- like this should be snipped as soon as they creat one child because there are many more to follow, all getting prepped to become drags on society and create additional stories like this.

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9jerryvalley(26 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Great job by the prosecutor and the judge. This guy does not deserve to die. It's great to know that he will have to live in that hole for the rest of his long life for what he did to that little girl. I respectfully disagree with the prior criticism.

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