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CA- Redlands man suspected of being molester takes his own life as police arrive

8-8-2008 California:

A 74-year-old Redlands man who committed suicide Wednesday evening was identified today as a convicted child molester who failed to appear for his sentencing last week.

Redlands police had gone to the hotel room to serve an arrest warrant for Walter Ward Davis charging him with failing to appear in San Bernardino County Superior Court on July 30, police spokesman Carl Baker said.

"Before the officer even had a chance to knock on the door, he heard a shot and the sound of a body hitting the floor," Baker said.

A revolver was found beneath the man's body shortly after the 5:50 p.m. shooting at the Sunrise Motel in the 1400 block of West Redlands Boulevard. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner's office later identified the man as Davis.

Davis pleaded guilty July 2 to felony charges of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14, according to court records. He was arrested in October 2007 after allegations of abuse that was reported to have occurred in 2005, Deputy District Attorney Jane Templeton said. The victim was a family member who was reportedly abused at least three times over a period of three months, she said.

Based on Davis' plea agreement, he would not have received any jail time beyond the year in custody he had already served while awaiting trail, Templeton said. The sentencing called for five years of felony probation.

Because he failed to show up for the sentencing, Davis faced up to 16 years in prison, Templeton said.

Deputy Public Defender Eric Teti, who represented Davis, said he last saw his client in court in July and did not know why he failed to appear for sentencing. Teti said Davis had seemed pleased with the plea agreement because it required no further jail time. ..News Source.. by Imran Ghori

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The victim was a family member who was reportedly abused at least three times over a period of three months, she said."

It's time to get tough! From this day forth, there must be a requirement that all people who are able to have a child MUST be registered as potential child molesters since, as everyone knows, the vast majority of molesters are family members of their victims.