Hannah Davenport was born
with medical problems, she was born with birth defect known as Ectopic
Anus and would require a special, soft food diet and many trips to the
Doctor. That was just the beginning of her sad life.
In 2003, Leonard and Karen Davenport got a divorce and Karen was given
full custody of the couple's three children, Hannah and two brothers
were all home
schooled. Leonard had visited the children and at one point he tried to
get Karen to take Hannah to the Doctor when he saw that she was losing
a lot of weight and didn't look well, that was two weeks before Hannah
died and Karen had refused to take her. I don't know why Leonard didn't
take her himself or get help for her.
When a call came in to 911, First Responders came to the house on
January 29, 2005 after being told that a child was not breathing and
was unresponsive. When they arrived, they found one of Hannah's Uncles
doing CPR on her, a very faint pulse was found and she was transported
to Freeman Hospital where she later died, weighing only 27 pounds at
the age of six years old.
In February of 2005, Karen Davenport and Linda Walsham were charged
one count of voluntary manslaughter though in the Spring of 2007, the
charged was raised to one count each of second degree murder. Time
seems to move on in this case and it wasn't until September of 2008
that Karen would be in court. At the age of 32 years old, Karen waived
her preliminary hearing and was still facing one count of second degree
murder and with an amended charges she was facing an alternate charge
of of felony murder, both charges were class A felonies and would carry
the death penalty if she was convicted. County Prosecutor Janice Durbin
stated that she filed the the amended charge to help address all of
the facts in the case and it would give the jury a chance to consider
An affidavit stated that a Doctor in the hospital had shown concerns
about Hannah being malnourished and that she was being neglected and an
autopsy showed that Hannah had died of malnutrition and dehydration.
Gregg Sweeten, Chief Deputy with the Sheriff's Department said that
preliminary results from the autopsy showed that Hannah had been
severely neglected, underfed and did not receive needed medical care:
"She was very
underweight for her age. It looks from the autopsy report that if she
taken to the doctor, she could have been saved"
Gregg Sweeten went on to speak about the condition of Hannah when First
Responders had shown up and her being transported by helicopter to the
"The condition of the
child was enough to start the investigation. As soon as officers
it was evident she was malnourished. Myself, Deputy Mike Miller, Deputy
and Anderson Officer Mike Bickford started the investigation immediately
home. We had an autopsy done in Springfield and the preliminary results
neglect as well as child neglect"
Sadly, Karen was found
guilty of second degree involuntary manslaughter after a four day trial
in May of 2010. Karen was fined $5,000. and though she was facing only
four years in prison, was sentence to NO time in prison for what she had
done to Hannah. Where is the justice for this little girl? Why is it
okay to abuse a child to death and get away with it? No wonder so many
people don't blink an eye when they decide to abuse their children,
they know they are going to get away with it. This child suffered a
horrible death and NO ONE paid
a price for it. The Prosecutor, Janice Durbin, said she was happy with
the verdict and sentence because Karen is now a convicted felon. So
what, that means nothing, she got away with murder!
Linda Walsham, Karen's mother, was now 53 years old and was facing
charges of her own and she had plead not guilty earlier in the year. In
2009, the charges against Linda were dropped due to a lack of evidence
20, 1998 - Jan. 29, 2005
Renee Davenport, 6, of Anderson, Mo., departed this life Saturday, Jan.
29, 2005, in Freeman Hospital West in Joplin, Mo.
was born Dec. 20, 1998, in Fayetteville, Ark., the daughter of Leonard
Ray and Karen Renee (Weible) Davenport. Hannah had a joyous spirit, and
would often be found singing while playing with her brothers and
friends. She greatly enjoyed her Strawberry Shortcake collection.
Although Hannah's life on earth was short, the memories she created for
us will live on in our hearts forever.
is survived by her mother, Karen Davenport of the home; her father,
Lenny Davenport, and his wife, Christina, of Little Rock, Ark.; two
brothers, Clay and Robby Davenport, both of the home; a step-brother,
Dakota Davenport of Little Rock, Ark.; maternal grandmother, Linda
Walsham of Anderson, Mo.; maternal grandfather, Robert Weible of the
state of California; paternal grandmother, Mary Davenport of the state
of Virginia; paternal grandfather, Gary H. Davenport of Little Rock,
Ark.; maternal great-grandparents, John and Joann Stutts of Anderson,
funeral services are 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, 2005, in the New Bethel
Cemetery west of Anderson, Mo., with Pastor David Munoz officiating.
will be on Thursday noon until 1:45 p.m. in the Ozark Funeral Home
are under the personal care and direction of the Ozark Funeral Home, of