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Harris County Prosecutors File New Charge Against Derion Vence In Maleah Davis Case

Vence, ex fiancee of Davis’ mother, has been charged with causing serious bodily injury to a child. The new charge against him carries a potential life sentence.

This undated photo provided by the Houston Police Dept. shows Derion Vence. Vence, the man who reported 4-year-old Maleah Davis had been abducted from him last weekend was arrested near Houston Saturday, May 11, 2019 in connection with her disappearance and police say they have found blood in his apartment linked to her.
Houston Police Dept. via AP
Harris County prosecutors have charged Derion Vence with causing bodily injury to a child in the case of Maleah Davis’ death.

Harris County prosecutors have filed a more serious charge against Derion Vence in the case of Maleah Davis’ death. The 4-year-old girl was reported missing in May and was later found dead in Arkansas.

Vence, ex fiancee of Davis’ mother, has been charged with causing serious bodily injury to a child. The count against Vence carries a potential life sentence. He is scheduled to appear in court on the new charge on Wednesday.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said in statement sent out on Monday that “after a review of all of the evidence, including the autopsy results,” prosecutors determined there was enough evidence to charge Vence with the more serious count.

District attorney’s office spokesman Dane Schiller said the investigation in the case continues and a potential murder charge against Vence is “not off the table.” Murder and injury to a child both carry a sentence of up to life in prison, Schiller said.

Vence’s attorney, Dorian Cotlar, declined to comment Monday.

Vence has been jailed since May 11 on the less serious charge of tampering with evidence, specifically a human corpse, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Vence, 27, had claimed he, Maleah and her 2-year-old brother were abducted on May 3 by a group of men in a truck. He said he and the boy were freed the next day but the kidnappers kept Maleah and his silver Nissan Altima.

Police said Vence’s story kept changing and didn’t add up. Authorities arrested Vence on the tampering with evidence charge.

Authorities and volunteer groups searched for Maleah for weeks around the Houston area until a community activist told police that Vence had confessed to him during a jail visit that he had dumped the girl’s remains close to a highway near Hope, Arkansas, about 30 miles northeast of the Texas-Arkansas border.

An autopsy concluded that Maleah died from “homicidal violence” but authorities have not released information about the circumstances surrounding her death.
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