Maleah Davis

Maleah Davis: Activist says ‘stepdad’ confesses without remorse as child’s remains are found, but lawyer claims it never happened [Reports]

A community activist claimed the man behind bars in connection with the disappearance of 4-year-old Maleah Davis “snapped” before accidentally killing the child. Yet, the suspect’s lawyer says the story the activist is telling the public isn’t true.

Quanell X said he managed to elicit a confession during a Friday morning jailhouse interview with 26-year-old Derion Vence, who’s behind bars for tampering with evidence in connection with Maleah. Police arrested Vence on May 11 after they found blood evidence inside his Houston apartment that matched to the little girl, and after cadaver dogs picked up on possible human decomposition scents inside the trunk of Vence’s car.

According to Quanell, a community activist who was briefly the spokesperson for Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, Vence told him where he dumped the little girl’s body and what happened prior to Maleah’s death that may have brought about the traumatic incident.

“He felt like he was just totally overwhelmed, because Brittany wasn’t being the mother she should be being,” Quanell said of Vence. “He took care of the kids; 90% of the time Brittany was not there…He felt she was not fit as a mother…He felt overwhelmed with his responsibility to Maleah in particular.”

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Speaking with anchor Chauncy Glover with ABC 13, Quanell indicated that although Vence never once said how little Maleah died, it was likely after the man “snapped.” Vence was supposedly angry at Bowens when the alleged incident occurred.

“He was angry with Brittany and he was very agitated with Brittany about her discovering him, sending these pictures of his private parts to another man and she calling him gay and saying that she was giving a ring back to him that drove him over the edge.”

Vence allegedly told Quanell that he put Maleah in a trash bag and drove a little over five hours from Houston to Arkansas, where he got out of his car and dumped Maleah’s body in a remote area on the side of the road.

A road crew in Fulton, Arkansas, found a black trash bag emitting a foul odor along Interstate 30, three days prior to Vence’s alleged confession, but apparently Arkansas authorities had not yet followed up on the tip.

On Friday, maintenance crews mowing the area ran over the same bag with a lawn mower. Officials arrived to the scene and determined that the scattered remains were of a child. Authorities found clothing and jewelry at the scene that led them to believe they had found Maleah.

“There are some personal effects that lead us to believe it is Maleah,” Sgt. Mark Holbrook with the Houston Police Department told KHOU 11 News.

The remains were flown back to Houston, where officials will conduct testing to determine if the remains are indeed of Maleah.

Meanwhile, Vence’s current attorney, Dorian Cotlar, claimed that Quanell never got a confession from his client. The lawyer also said Vence never told the community activist that there was an accident.

“Quanell X completely misled my client. I don’t know how he was able to get into the jail….My client did not confess to Quanell. He did not use the word ‘accident’ with Quanell…Quanell makes his living off of reward money.”

According to Chron, Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jason Spencer said Quanell was allowed in the jail on Friday because he’s a community activist.

“We know Quanell X as a community leader,” Spencer explained. “When a community leader asks to visit an inmate, we generally allow it, as long as the inmate agrees to the visit.”

Shortly after the visit, Cotlar filed a motion to prohibit Quanell from visiting Vence. Cotlar added that Vence was tricked into thinking his family sent Quanell to see him after his previous lawyer withdrew from the case.

Quanell touched on rumors about the reward fund, stating that as a community activist, he would not be entitled to any of the reward money for finding Maleah, nor would he want any of it. The reward money increased to over $20,000 earlier this week.

Maleah Davis
Maleah Davis [Handout]
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maleah was last seen alive on April 30, after a security camera at a Southwest Houston apartment complex captured the girl walking back to her apartment with Vence. She was never seen alive again.

On May 4, Vence called police from a Sugar Land, Texas, hospital and claimed three men abducted Maleah on May 3, when he pulled over on the side of the road to check his car tires. He said the men hit him over the head and when he later woke up, Maleah was gone. It’s a story authorities said they never believed.

Bowens was out of state at the time Maleah disappeared, reportedly for her father’s funeral. She said she had no idea where her daughter was.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]