Stepmother who abused 4-year-old for months before her death receives 40-year sentence

Friday, June 24, 2022
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A little girl had whip marks all over her body when she died, and officials say her death was sparked by a potty-training accident.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A woman has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing her stepdaughter, who was found dead after months of abuse in her home in Huffman.

Melynda Davis was convicted of murder and received her sentence in May, according to court documents.

The video featured above is from a previous report.

SEE PREVIOUS STORY: Authorities believe stepmother abused 4-year-old for months before her death

Little I'yanna Allen was found dead on Nov. 29, 2020. She was 4 years old.

"The injuries were horrible," said Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtelle. "They were unthinkable."

Court documents revealed Davis used an ammonia soaked towel to suffocate the child to death. Officials said the 4-year-old also had lacerations and whip marks all over her body.

ORIGINAL STORY: Woman charged in death of boyfriend's 4-year-old daughter

"She had burns all over her face and strangulation marks under her neck," said Sawtelle.

Sawtelle said phone records helped investigators piece together the case, and the result of an autopsy report is what helped them seal the murder charge.

SEE ALSO: Houston mom gets 8 years of probation after pleading guilty to 2017 death of 9-year-old son

Prosecutors say there was never a doubt that they would not get the murder charge eventually. They were already working with strong evidence.

According to court documents, Davis texted the child's father and told him she was going to discipline the girl because she had wet herself. Further searching through Davis' phone records detailed even more about what she allegedly did to her stepdaughter.

"She's looking up Google searches on how to deal with ammonia bruises, whether or not someone can inhale ammonia, and how to treat that," said Sawtelle.

Prosecutors believe that Davis had been abusing the child for months before her death.