Forrest City, AR - It’s coming up on four years since I wrote about Reginald Davis (note: very graphic), and that case still rings my outrage bell loud enough to put any civil defense siren to shame.
Quick recap: Davis went to visit the new mother of an eight-day-old baby girl–supposedly his daughter. When the 15-year-old mom returned after leaving the baby alone with Davis so she could get a shower, she observed blood on the baby, and the mother and grandmother took the little girl to the Forrest City (Arkansas) Medical Center, accompanied by Davis.
A medical examination indicated the infant had been raped; it also was noted that she had a fractured skull. Police were called, Davis was arrested, and the little girl was transferred to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock due to the severity of her injuries.
For any of you new to the case, let me reiterate: EIGHT. DAYS. OLD.
If we were to say that the case as it originally stood filled all three able-to-be-perceived dimensions on the WTF?/OMG! meter, then it surely now has given credence to those theories that posit, say, 10 or 11 dimensions. Bear with me as I walk us through this, but first, a sucker punch: at some point during the week before last (the only source article is maddeningly vague), the charges against Reginald Davis were dropped.
1. Why were the charges dropped?
According to Circuit Judge L. T. Simes II, “the Court has lost jurisdiction to proceed in this case.” Quick translation: the judge determined that Davis had been denied his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.
As it’s being reported, prosecutors maintain that the “clock” is stopped during mental evaluations (of which Davis had at least one), but Davis’s defense claimed that even so, there were 803 days since arrest that did count toward a speedy trial.
In making his ruling, Judge Simes cited a case in which the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a defendant’s right to a speedy trial was violated when his trial started on the 600th day following his arrest.
As for the previously mentioned “meter,” what the hell happened with the prosecutors? Was there no one in that quarter paying attention to the amount of time that was passing? Did someone say, “Aw, hay-ell, we’re AR-can-SAW, ain’t nobody watchin’ US”? Did Prosecuting Attorney Fletcher Long buy into that urban legend that “all baby rapers always get murdered by other inmates when locked up”?
People, I wish I knew.
2. But what about what happened to that baby?
My understanding is this: “FUCK YOU for even being interested!”
Okay, I take that back. That was me trying to interpret the very little information that’s been made available on this case. Here’s what that absolutely vague and already cited article has to say.
Back in February, at a hearing in which the defense asked that the charges be dropped or Davis be released to await trial, the two key witnesses against him (the baby’s mother Brea Davis and the baby’s grandmother) “said they wanted to drop the whole thing.”
“I want it behind me,” Brea Davis is reported to have said. Despite still believing that Davis did what he was accused of, she asserted that the child is “doing okay now.”
I will leave it to the readers to comment on that little gem.
3. Is there any chance Davis will get any kind of visitation rights with the child?
Well, no, it doesn’t look that way, since during her testimony, Brea Davis reported that while she initially believed Davis to be the baby’s father, she no longer did, and in yet another of this case’s WTF-ery instances, no DNA testing was done.
4. Why are we just hearing about this now?
(a) I forgot my damned password, and I didn’t have enough blow on hand to make it worth Morbid’s while to help me out. (Bank account cleaned out, vehicles and children sold, some other illegal activities best left unmentioned, Morbid happy enough to help a Lizard out.)
(b) The lack of reporting and information available on this case has vexed me from the beginning. Way back when, I tried e-mailing someone at the Forrest City PD , but my message to the e-mail address listed on the department’s Web site bounced back. I wound up in an e-mail conversation with someone at the library there that was very cordial and friendly but completely unhelpful.
We’re talking 3 1/2 years since the arrest and mere handful of articles. What’s the deal? Is this a function of the Arkansas justice system or related to how the media in Arkansas functions?
Here’s an example: I have a Google alert set up for “Reginald Davis” and periodically do searches to see if new articles have been released. It was only when I read the article linked above that I discovered that Reginald Davis was released on his own recognizance on March 2.