SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KYTV) - A jury found a Springfield man guilty of brutally beating his then eight year old daughter, Thursday afternoon.
The verdict was handed down after just three hours of deliberation. Robert Davis now faces possible life in prison.
The gruesome details of the case were recounted over the course of four days, and included testimony from Davis’ daughter, now ten, who gave details of the beating in court on her birthday.
One woman who spoke to KY3/KSPR’s Frances Watson said justice for the girl was pivotal in deciding the verdict.
“It didn't take very long. We all agreed that he was guilty," said Clara Starks, one of twelve people tasked to judge Robert Davis. Starks was among those who decided on the seven felony child abuse and neglect charges he faced for brutally beating and torturing his young daughter.
"It's just sad, really sad," said Starks.
She says that everyone on the jury was shocked to hear the evidence against Davis.
"Before you send somebody away for life potentially, you want to make sure that you got it right. We went over each question. We asked question after question after question until there was no doubt,” she said. “We certainly didn't want him to be around other children."
Starks says that she did not know Davis also faces charges in Dallas county for the beating death of two year-old Kinzlea Kilgore until after court was dismissed.
The toddler's family thanked her.
"That makes me feel even better about what we just did," said Starks.
Starks has more than fifty grandchildren. This case was especially difficult for her to hear.
"When they showed me pictures I did get a little teary. I tried to hold it in,” she said. “I don't think it was noticed. You just want to be fair. But it was pretty painful, very painful."
She was relieved to see the child when she testified against her father.
"She's a beautiful little girl,” said Starks. “And it was a relief to see her in a better state than the pictures. When she walked in it was so wonderful to see her like that.
Starks included a message to the young girl.
"God bless you first,” said Starks. “Then I would just tell her that I'm so happy that I could do you justice."
Judge Thomas Mountjoy could decide Davis' punishment this December if Davis’ attorney doesn't file an appeal. Davis will be back in court in Dallas County next week on September 17th, 2019.
He is charged in the beating death of two year-old Kinzlea Kilgore and will go to trial for that soon.