Girl, 10, testifies about seeing her mother stabbed to death

April 10, 1996|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Jurors heard a 10-year-old girl's account yesterday of seeing her mother stabbed to death, along with the tape of her hysterical 911 call for help, as the murder trial of a Hillendale man accused of killing his wife began yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

They also heard a second 911 tape, with a confession prosecutors say was made by Anthony Lee Davenport, a pizza delivery driver who is accused of stabbing Katanya Denise Davenport 83 times in the bedroom of their apartment July 29.

The victim's nieces and daughters -- the 10-year-old and an infant 19 days old -- were in the living room of the apartment in the 6600 block of Ellsmere Place at the time, gathered around a television after attending a church picnic in Druid Hill Park.

Prosecutors are seeking a conviction for first-degree murder, which carries a life sentence.

Mr. Davenport's lawyers acknowledge that he killed his wife but say the attack was not planned and are seeking a lesser charge of second-degree murder, which carries a 30-year sentence.

"This was an impulsive action done by a frightened man who had been drinking," defense lawyer Kimberley A. Phillips said in her opening statement, adding that Mr. Davenport "lost it" when he thought his wife was going to leave him.

Mrs. Davenport's elder daughter, Tamara Sophia Rose Fisher, took the stand as the first witness. Her head turned away from Mr. Davenport, she said that she, her two cousins and her sister were watching television when she heard loud noises from the master bedroom.

After a struggle, she was able to open the bedroom door, Tamara said.

When Assistant State's Attorney Robin S. Coffin asked whether she had seen Mr. Davenport doing anything, the girl testified, "Yes, he was stabbing my mother."

She called 911, and in the tape played in court, Tamara's voice is so hysterical that it is hard to understand her crying to a dispatcher: "He stabbed my mother."

Moments later, a man called 911. "I just killed somebody," said the taped voice played for the jury of seven men and five women. "I need help. Please come get me."

The man gave his address to the 911 dispatcher, but not his name, and asked that authorities be lenient with him.

Three Baltimore County police officers and a forensic services technician testified that Mrs. Davenport was found lying face-down in a pool of blood.

They said Mr. Davenport sat on the bed, cooperative and willing to surrender.

The trial before Judge Barbara Kerr Howe is expected to conclude today after testimony from Mr. Davenport.

Pub Date: 4/10/96

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