The mother of 4-year-old Houston girl, Maleah Davis, showed up at a Houston courthouse on Wednesday morning, guarded by constables as a group of bystanders criticized her.
“She is not a mother,” one bystander said, as Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, stood outside of a Harris County courtroom, waiting for an arraignment scheduled for 26-year-old Derion Vence to begin.
Vence, Bowens’ former boyfriend, was scheduled to face arraignment in connection with Maleah’s death, but the hearing was ultimately rescheduled, according to CBS 11. Vence is accused of tampering with evidence, namely a corpse.
Bowens hasn’t been charged with a crime in connection to the case, but she’s largely been the centerpiece of public anger and suspicion. Bystanders in the Houston courthouse wore t-shirts with printed photos of the little girl on the front.
Maleah was last seen alive via security footage on April 30. Bowens reportedly left the state at some point on April 30, supposedly leaving Maleah and a younger sibling in the care of Vence while she attended a funeral. Protesters claimed she didn’t do enough to help Maleah and criticized the woman for leaving her daughter in the care of Vence.
On May 4, Vence contacted police from a Sugar Land hospital and claimed Maleah had been abducted by Hispanic men on May 3. It’s a story police never bought. Later, Vence reportedly said the little girl was deceased and left in a bag in Arkansas. He maintained, however, that he never harmed the girl.
On May 11, police arrested Vence after they found blood evidence inside his Houston apartment that matched to Maleah. Cadaver dogs picked up on possible human decomposition scents inside the trunk of his car. Police found Maleah’s remains a few weeks later in Fulton, Arkansas.
By the time authorities found Maleah, a maintenance crew worker had accidentally run over her body with a mower, making it difficult for the medical examiner’s office to figure out exactly how she died. The final medical examiner’s report isn’t yet finished but an initial report indicated the little girl died from “homicidal violence.”
I want to give you an idea of the feel for the hallway outside the courtroom right now. These folks with the Maleah T-shirt’s on are criticizing Maleah’s mother Brittany Bowens. Courtroom is not open yet. #khou11 #htownrush pic.twitter.com/zssNR2wmeA
— Janel Forte (@JanelKHOU) July 10, 2019
Bowens remained silent as she left the courthouse.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, this isn’t the first time protesters criticized Bowens in public. On May 13, a scene outside of a Houston courtroom quickly turned explosive as a group of as protesters followed the woman, alleging that she was complicit in her daughter’s death.
Protesters initially packed into the courthouse to see Vence’s first hearing, but soon learned it had been postponed until July 10.
Bowens exited the courthouse with her former spokesperson, community activist, Quanell X. Bowens said nothing as she walked through the crowd. Chants grew louder as she made her way through the mob of protesters.
“She let it happen,” one protester yelled as Bowens walked by. Another one questioned out loud why Bowen wasn’t “locked up” alongside Vence, while another person asked Bowens where Maleah was.
The crowd shoved cellphones and cameras toward Bowens as she walked by.
Bowens kept her head high and kept walking until a woman gave her a hug and handed her a flyer of Maleah. Bowens’ stoic demeanor crumbled as she cried and hugged the woman back.
Vence’s hearing has been rescheduled for September.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
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[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]