Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

February 21, 2014

Judge finds probable cause in St. Elmo child death

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

VANDALIA — A judge found probable cause to try the mother in the death of 1-year-old Addison Scott.

In Fayette County Court Friday, Judge Douglas L. Jarman found probable cause in the case of Heaven N. Davis, 24, of St. Elmo. Davis is charged with endangering the life of a child, a Class 3 felony, which carries a potential sentence of three to seven years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000.

At the preliminary hearing, the state called Illinois State Police Special Investigator Jeffrey Kline to the stand. Kline said in interviews conducted with the mother on the time leading up to the child's death, Davis put Scott and her other 3-year-old child to bed at around 8:30 p.m. She would later smoke marijuana at 10:30 p.m. before going to sleep around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 22. 

Kline said Davis woke up to change Scott at 1:30 a.m. and woke up again around 10 a.m. with the children. She turned on a movie for the children and then went back to sleep. When she woke up at 11:08 a.m., Davis said her 3-year-old pointed to the bathroom and repeatedly said "Sissy."

Kline said Davis told investigators she found Scott submerged in bathwater on her back, surrounded by bath toys and a shower seat. Davis took Scott from the water and called 911 and spoke with an operator about performing CPR before St. Elmo Police and an ambulance arrived. Scott died at St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham later that day.

Davis' defense attorney, Jeffrey DeLong, said none of Kline's testimony pointed to Davis willfully endangering her child. Jarman said the barrier to prove probable cause is admittedly low and found probable cause in the case. DeLong waived an arraignment and entered a not-guilty plea.

Davis is set for a jury trial on May 27. She has a pretrial hearing at 11 a.m. on March 26.