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Scottsdale grandmother accused of killing grandson has out of state warrant

Investigators are raising questions about the grandmother accused of killing her grandson at a Scottsdale hotel. Some are asking if the grandmother had custody
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 7:21 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The Scottsdale grandmother accused of murdering her grandson has a warrant for her arrest. According to court documents, it’s been active since 2016. It begs the question of why the Department of Child Safety and Scottsdale Police allowed the two boys to remain with Stephanie Davis. DCS confirms they investigated the family three times back in 2017.

“There were at least three governmental agencies across two states who looked into this family and closed the cases out,” Darcy Olsen, the CEO of Gen Justice, a child advocacy group, said.

The arrest warrant was issued in Minnesota. Those three agencies would include Scottsdale Police, DCS, and authorities in Minnesota, where the family is originally from.

All of this first came to light last month when Chaskah Davis Smith was murdered. He was found in the Extended Stay America in Scottsdale, which led to an investigation of Davis and her husband. Prosecutors said Chaskah and his half-brother were abused for years, referring to it as torture.

Court documents show Chaskah was hit in the head with a metal ratchet had his private parts cut with a knife for wetting the bed. So how were the children allowed to stay with Davis?

“When DCS investigates situations like this, those investigations are kept private. They’re not readily accessible,” Michael Girgenti, an attorney who specializes in Family Law, said.

DCS said they determined two of the reports from back in 2017 were unfounded.

Police said it’s a misdemeanor warrant, and it only applied in the state of Minnesota, where it was filed. They explained Davis couldn’t be extradited back there for it. The warrant was for failing to appear, and she’s accused of violating a restraining order in that case.

There are also questions about whether Davis had custody of the boys. Arizona’s Family couldn’t verify that. Police said it’s not something they looked into.

“Those records are not as available to police, so police are kind of left in the situation where they show up and look at whoever is holding paperwork in their hands, and sometimes they do have to take people at their word,” Girgenti said.

In response, DCS said, “During an investigation, our caseworkers factor in a family’s current circumstances and backgrounds... We jointly investigated the 2017 cases with law enforcement. In this case, investigators did search public records and reached out to other states for records.”

Davis and her husband remain in jail on murder and child abuse charges.