Somerville slayings: Keith Davis remembers family he lost

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An innocent man was wrongly convicted and sent to death row. A relative of the victims is opening up for the first time about the crime and the fallout. (KTRK)

It was an unthinkable mass murder. On Aug. 18, 1992, six members of the Davis family, four of them children, were found murdered in a Somerville, Texas home. It's a crime that haunts Keith Davis, even 23 years later.

"Seeing my girls being stabbed and screaming for me," said Davis. "Their bodies are being stabbed, but their faces are sad but beautiful calling for their dad."

He is talking for the first time about the murders. His six-year-old daughter Brittany was stabbed 14 times. His other daughter, five-year-old Lea Erin, was right there next to her.

"I can't even tell you today how I was able to keep my sanity," said Davis.

His mother, Bobbie Davis, 45, was found beaten with a hammer. His sister, Nicole, 16, was shot in the head. Also discovered on that fateful day were his niece De'Nitra, 9, and her half-brother, four-year-old Jason Davis.

Two men were eventually arrested. One of them was Jason's father, Robert Carter. The other man was Anthony Graves. Both men were eventually convicted and sentenced to death. Davis says as the years went by he became further imprisoned in his grief.

"It was not tangible, because I could not reach up and touch the bars, but it was a prison that we lived in all that time," said Davis.

Then years later, Davis says he received an unexpected letter from Carter. In it was a shocking confession.
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The surviving relative of six family members killed in 1992 is speaking about the crime and the wrongful conviction of one of the men convicted, Anthony Graves.

"He wrote me a letter and said, Keith, I did all of this by myself. My wife was not involved. Anthony Graves was not involved. I'm so sorry for what I did to your family," said Davis.

Davis says he tore it up in disbelief. Then in 2000, he watched Carter take his last breath.

"When I walked out, it hadn't changed anything for my family," said Davis. "I almost felt sorry for him even though I hated his guts."

That pity was short-lived. His says his hate continued to fester for the second person convicted in the crime, Graves. Then fate took another twist, and in 2010, Graves was exonerated and became a free man.

District Attorney Charles Sebesta was blamed for the wrongful conviction as well as for withholding key evidence in the case.

Davis recalls his first meeting with Graves. It was a casual lunch.

"I told him when we sat down, that I hated his guts. I said I don't know and I'm trying to get in a place where I'm getting comfortable being around you, for 18 years you were the devil to me," said Davis.

Things have changed and Davis says he and Graves do occasionally meet or talk on the phone; however, he says it's not a close relationship.

"If you asked me today I would say Anthony would you like to trade places, I would do it in a minute. I would take his 18 years over mine any day," said Davis.

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