SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a grandmother and her husband in the death of an 11-year-old boy at a Scottsdale hotel.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office says prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Stephanie M. Davis, the victim's grandmother, and Thomas J. Desharnais in the event they are convicted of first-degree murder.
In February, Davis and Desharnais were indicted on 11 felony counts related to the abuse and death of the child, who died in January.
According to police documents, the child was found unresponsive at the hotel. He had various other injuries and officials noted other instances of abuse against the victim and the victim’s sibling.
“As a community, it is our responsibility to protect and care for the most vulnerable in society, and this includes children. The protection of children has always been a top priority for me. This child’s suffering and death must be addressed and those responsible held accountable,” said Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell in a press release. “Seeking justice for this young boy whose life was cut short in an especially heinous matter is what prosecutors are called to do.”
According to court documents, their trial dates are set to begin later this year.