By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – A Tyler County jury delivered a sentence last week that the prosecuting district attorney called “a life sentence” for the defendant.
Kenneth Duane Davis, a Colmesneil man, was handed down a 50-year sentence last Wednesday by District Judge Delinda Gibbs-Walker, who presided over the case. Davis was convicted on two counts of continuous sexual abuse of a young child (under 14 years of age) and indecency with a child. He received 20 years, no parole, for the sexual abuse charge and 30 years for the continuous abuse, no parole. The sentences will be served consecutively.
Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin and First Assistant DA Pat “Hawk” Hardy presented evidence during the two-day trial that showed a story that began with a young victim first admitted abuse from Davis, by way of a note to her teacher, in December of 2019. That teacher notified law enforcement about the note, and according to evidence revealed in the proceedings, Davis had confessed to his wife that he had touched the girl, and the girl’s brother, inappropriately.
Prosecutors were able to present, among the evidence, testimony from the two children, and showed a pattern over the course of seven years that “Uncle Kenneth” sexually abused them when the children were dropped off at his house, two times per month, and also up to a week during summers.
Davis had also told a psychologist he had rubbed the girl’s legs and “went too far”. The initial investigation took place in Trinity County, and Davis was arrested in August of 2020, following investigating and interviews by the Texas Rangers. At the time of his arrest, Davis was serving as a councilmember of the Colmesneil City Council, which he resigned shortly after.
During the trial, Cody Rogers, the Ranger who conducted an interview with Davis in 2020, said that he had said that the female victim (who was 10 or 11 at the time) had grabbed Davis’s wrist and forced his hand under her bikini top, in a swimming pool, but that nothing else had happened.
Davis had told Rogers that he had never spoken to anyone about the accusations, which was contrary to testimony by his ex-wife. Evidence also showed that the girl’s younger brother had accused Davis, a year earlier, of molestation and showing him pornography.
Babin noted that Davis, who is 65 years of age, will be 105 before he is eligible for parole.
At press time, Davis was in the custody of Tyler County at the Tyler County Jail, awaiting transfer to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice intake facility.