Report: Girl Suffered “Multiple Episodes Of Abuse” Before Rape And Death

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) – A newly-released autopsy report on a two-year-old Van Buren girl states she had two injuries reported to state police in the months leading up to her rape and death.

The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory report released Wednesday states the girl suffered “multiple episodes of abuse,” including two in the last two months of her life. She died last October after being admitted into Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith with severe internal injuries from a suspected rape, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Sebastian County prosecutor Daniel Shue filed a first-degree murder charge against the girl’s uncle, Cohen J. Davis, on Tuesday, according to court documents. Davis has been held without bond in the Sebastian County Detention Center since October on suspicion of his niece’s rape. He pleaded not guilty to the rape charge in November.

The state medical examiner’s report completed Jan. 14 officially classifies the girl’s death as a homicide and gives the cause of death as “multiple blunt force injuries”.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital staff in August reported a broken arm suffered by the girl to the Arkansas State Police’s Crimes Against Children division. Less than a month before the girl’s death, she was again taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock with a hematoma on her cheek that was suffered when she fell on a marble coffee table, according to family.

Naomi Nichols died Oct. 15, 2014, after being taken into Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith with severe internal injuries and bruises all over her body, according to the arrest warrant that was issued for Davis. Family members told police and 5NEWS the girl died because of injuries suffered while falling down some stairs.

“Obviously, we didn’t think he was capable of anything,” said Nichols’ mother Courtney Nichols. “There’s nothing that I would want to say to him. She was perfect. We are going to miss her, we all miss her.”

Davis brought Naomi into Sparks and told medical personnel she had fallen down several stairs in his home and that the girl “wasn’t acting right,” so he placed her in a cold shower to wake her up. The two-year-old threw up while in the shower, so Davis took her to the hospital, he said.

Naomi later died from her injuries in an operating room despite several attempts by medical crews at resuscitation, according to the arrest warrant.

The girl’s body was transported for an autopsy to the Arkansas State Crime Lab, where an examiner found evidence of sexual assault. The doctor performing the autopsy determined the injuries occurred within hours prior to the victim’s death, the warrant states. Davis told police at the hospital he was the only person watching Naomi in the time leading up to her admission to the hospital.

Following Naomi’s death, three other children in the home—aged seven, five and four—were taken into Arkansas Department of Human Services custody.

5NEWS reporter Aubry Killion spoke with Davis and the girl’s mother following Davis’ arrest. Click here to read that story and watch the video of that encounter.

The suspect’s next court date is set for April 8 in Sebastian County Circuit Court, records show.

34 comments

  • Horace

    I’ll never understand how someone could commit such a horrendous act. Apparently, the poor child’s parents weren’t completely innocent, either. We must pass a test in order to get a driver’s license and drive a car, but for the most important task in the world–being a parent–there is nothing.

  • A parent

    Disgusting. Just watched the interview the day after this happened. What kind of parent could appear on television under such a certain circumstance? She grins during the interview also. Beautiful child lost from the world forever.

    • Shaun

      That’s because the brain does odd things during something this emotional. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel loss for her child.

    • FedUp

      I remember the interview very well. she looked like a meth head. I think a lot more people should be charged in this crime including the authorities that let it go this far,

      • Doug Racine

        The parents should be charged as well because there are clearly other instances of abuse. I doubt that the child was repeatedly left with the same person who abused her then took her for medical treatment in LR. Obviously they either had a hand in the abuse or allowed the abuse. Maybe they didn’t realize this little baby would be raped until she died, but they are ultimately responsible.

  • Sean

    Why hasn’t Daniel Shue prosecuted Greenwood City Attorney Michael Hamby after Hamby was found to have violated FOI act?

    Shouldn’t elected officials be held to a HIGHER standard not a lower standard than the rest of us?

    • ehhh

      You’re a tool.

      This nothing to do with your crumby Greenwood politics that obviously no one cares about. Get a life.

      • Sean

        Obviously the link being Daniel Shue’s office leading this investigation.

        If we can’t trust Shue to lock up his prosecutor buddies, can we trust him at all?

        Tell the good ole boys I said hey.

  • Concerned

    He most certainly DID NOT PLEAD GUILTY TO ANY CHARGES.
    This type of erroneous reporting is not only irresponsible and unprofessional, but is absolutely unacceptable and will be immediately reported to every agency I can find. My first stop will be the FCC.
    As public trustees, broadcasters may not intentionally distort the news. The FCC has stated publicly that “rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest.” As such, I am forwarding all of the above to the FCC.

    • FedUp

      You must be part of this white trash family that allowed this to happen, You were probably one of the sicko’ s that declared his innocence and said that the person that slipped the note to the media telling then it was not an accident was just trying to start trouble.

  • Mary

    Why havent the other adults that lived there been charged with accessory? Why hasnt the DHS workers & the ASP been charged with accessory? So many people of authority have this childs blood on their hands. I hope each of you can sleep well tonite. We must start charging the police & DHS workers that “investigate” the charges of abuse but dont do anything as criminals also. If we as a society cannot figure a way to get a child out of these situations then we can only expect it to get worse.

  • A PARENT

    If found guilty I will write the most violent prisoners where he is sent and notify them of this scumbag’s crime. Should make his prison stay more comfortable.

  • FedUp

    Does that mean he can be sentenced to death? I hope so. This worthless POS needs to have done to him what she did and let him suffer a while and then kill him so we don’t have to pay to feed him for the next 50 years

  • Denise

    How sick can this man be. It breaks my heart for this beautiful and precious little girl and her family. I hope this man pays for what he did to her

  • Paula Dickerson

    Where is the list of people who allowed this child to be in the care of Cohen Davis? It was not a decision made by one person.

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