Davis v. Carpenter, No. 14-6205 (6th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
In 2000, Davis was engaged to Jennifer, who had an eight-month old son, Caine. Davis was not Caine’s father. On January 27, Davis was at Jennifer’s apartment. Caine was fussy. Davis grew frustrated and pushed Caine across the floor. Later, Jennifer left Davis to watch Caine. When she called to ask about Caine, Davis said that something was wrong. Chilton asked a friend to check on Caine. Her friend found Caine limp. His pulse was weak and erratic, his eyes were rolled back and he was not breathing. Caine was airlifted to Vanderbilt Medical Center where doctors found three complex skull fractures, massive internal bleeding, retinal bleeding in both eyes, and a torn membrane between the lip and the gums. Caine died. Davis insisted he had not dropped Caine and claimed to have no idea how he was injured. Outside a neighbor’s apartment, police found a bag containing a wet washcloth and Caine’s shirt. Davis admitted that he had used the rag to wipe blood out of Caine’s mouth. At trial, in contrast to his previous claims, Davis testified that he had dropped Caine accidentally. A medical expert testified that Caine’s injuries were consistent with that testimony; he eventually lost his medical license for misleading testimony in other trials. All of the doctors who had treated Caine testified that his death could not have been an accident. Following a mistrial, Davis was unable to find an expert willing to take the case. The jury convicted him of felony murder and aggravated child abuse. Davis exhausted state remedies The Sixth Circuit affirmed denial of his petition for federal habeas relief in which he argued ineffective assistance.