Recently-released court documents indicate the man arrested in connection with the death of Texas girl, Maleah Davis, hit her with a blunt object and his hand, then failed to get medical help.
New charges were filed against 27-year-old Derion Vence on Monday, who was initially facing charges of tampering with evidence, namely a human corpse. He’s now facing an additional charge of injury to a child/serious bodily injury, according to 12 News, which carries a potential life sentence.
According to court documents filed at the Harris County District Attorney’s office, Vance, the former fiancé of Maleah’s mother, Brittany Bowens, is accused of striking 4-year-old Maleah, causing her to hit the floor.
“After a review of all of the evidence, including the autopsy results, prosecutors determined there was sufficient evidence to charged Vence with intentionally and knowingly causing serious bodily injury to a child younger than 15 years of age,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
Meanwhile, family members of Maleah expressed anger and concern that Vence hasn’t been charged with murder.
“You left her in that apartment for however many days until you figured out how to move my little cousin and then threw her on the side of the highway like she was trash,” Maleahs’ cousin Tamisha Mendoza said while outside of a Houston courtroom on Wednesday, according to ABC 13.
“You knew what you were doing. That was murder. Period. Murder.”
Bowens, who hasn’t been charged in the incident, added that she, too, thinks the current charges against Vence are not enough.
“The fact that he went through a great extent to cover himself is unbelievable. It’s not enough. These charges aren’t enough. But I have faith justice will prevail.”
District attorney’s office spokesman Dane Schiller said the possibility of a murder charge is not “off the table,” meaning as the investigation continues, additional charges could follow.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maleah was last seen alive via security footage on April 30. Bowens left Maleah and her younger sibling in the care of her then-fiancé, Vence, while she traveled out of state for a funeral.
On May 4, Vence contacted police from a Sugar Land hospital and claimed Maleah had been abducted by Hispanic men on May 3. Vence said he stopped to look at the tires on his car in Sugar Land, where three unknown men pulled up in a blue truck and hit him over the head.
Vence reportedly claimed he was in and out of consciousness until the next day. When he woke up, Maleah was gone.
It was all a lie, according to police.
“We strongly believe he knows where she’s at and if he wanted to tell us, he would,” Acevedo said earlier this, adding that the suspect’s lies are so big “you could drive a big rig through it.”
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.
Maleah’s remains were later found scattered in Arkansas after a worker accidentally ran her over with a lawnmower.
Last month, Acevedo reiterated that the investigation is far from over.
“We are proceeding this case to every path it needs to go, we are leaving no stone unturned, and the end of the day, our hope and prayer is that we will charge the person or persons responsible for her death with the appropriate charges.”
[Feature Photo: Maleah Davis/Handout]