Accused child abuser tells his side of the story to a Greene County jury

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. The child abuse and neglect trial for a Springfield man is coming to a close.

Robert Davis is facing seven felony charges in Greene County for brutally beating and torturing his young daughter last year.

Wednesday, witness testimony ended with Davis taking the stand to tell his side of the story.

Prosecutors had questions of their own.

"I let her play, wade off in the water. She was throwing rocks. I showed her how to skip a couple of rocks at the creek," said Davis.

He told the jury about the afternoon he spent at the creek with his child.

"Just talked with her. Laughed with her. Cuttin' up," he said.

Then, Greene County Prosecutor, Stephanie Wan, started asking him to back up his story about what happened that day.

Wan asked, "Throughout this trial you've listened to all the evidence?"

"Yes I have," said Davis.

"You've reviewed the police reports," said Wan.

Davis replied, "Yeah."

Wan questioned, "You've reviewed the evidence?"

"Yes," said Davis.

Wan asked, "You did all that before you testified today?"

Davis confirmed, "Yes I have."

Wan continued questioning Davis.

She asked, "Do you recall being interviewed by Jennifer Flood on July 1, 2018?"

"Yeah," he said.

Wan questioned, "So you were interviewed by a detective at the Greene County Jail?"

Davis said, "Yes."

She then asked about the statement he first gave to authorities about his daughter's scrapes, cuts and bruises.

"You state that (your child) got these injuries from a fall to the curb when you were leaving the creek," she said to Davis.

"Uh huh," he said.

She asked, "Is that a yes?"

"Yes," he confirmed.

Wan asked, "A second set of injuries occurred when she was climbing in the back seat without a seat belt?"

"Yes," confirmed Davis.

Wan then asked, "Those were the two accidents that caused the injuries?"

Davis answered, "Yes."

Detective Jennifer Flood with the Greene County Sheriff's Office interviewed Davis at the time of his arrest last July. Flood testified that their session lasted close to two hours.

She told jurors Davis offered her a different version of events than what he described to the court when on the stand.

"While at the creek, as they were leaving, he mentioned that she had again run up ahead from him. As she was running up the embankment, where there was tall weeds, she had fallen again and sustained some scratches from the vegetation," said Flood.

Wan asked, "That's a total of four accidents, he claimed to you, on July 1 of 2018?"

"Yes," she said.

Davis insists that he did not hurt his daughter that day.

"I was just actually taking the day, the rest of the day to be with my daughter," he said while referring to a statement he made to his employer.

Court will be back in session Thursday morning for deliberation instructions and closing arguments before the case goes to the jury to decide if Davis is guilty or not of felony child abuse and neglect.

There is much more legal trouble for Davis beyond this case.

Next week, he will be in a Dallas County courtroom, facing a judge. He's charged with beating to death 3 year-old Kinzlea Kilgore.