Trial for accused child abuser to start in Greene County Tuesday

GREENE COUNY, Mo. Opening statements for the felony child abuse trial of a Springfield man accused of torturing his young daughter will be heard Tuesday morning.

Robert Davis faces a total of seven abuse and neglect charges for severely beating and choking her last year.

It took an entire day to seat a jury panel of 14 people, including two alternates. Davis, sat in the courtroom as attorneys for both sides questioned potential jurors from Greene County.

Court documents go into great detail about what Robert Davis did June 30th, 2018.

According to the probable cause statement the then 8-year-old told investigators that Davis hit her in the face several times. She told him he then hit her over the head with a phone charger. She also said that Davis choked her, spanked her with a belt and ripped her hair out.

Investigators note that Davis' own cousin, Scott Neilson, called 911 with concerns that he was physically abusing the child.

Davis was arrested after Greene County Deputies saw the injuries to the young girl.

The jury pool heard a little bit about the case and was told what their job will be if they are picked to serve.

The state plans to call several witnesses to testify, including the child who is a the center of this case.

Since Davis is classified as a persistent felony offender, he is not eligible for jury sentencing if convicted. Judge Thomas Mountjoy, the same judge who presided over the Hailey Owens' murder trial, will decide Davis' punishment.

Davis is also charged with the death of 3 year-old Kinzlea Kilgore in Buffalo a few months before the alleged abuse against his own child. He will be tried in a Dallas County Courtroom after the Greene County case is complete.

A hearing for the case involving the toddler's death is scheduled for next week.

The felony abuse case is expected to wrap up by the end of this week.

Davis will stay in the Greene County Jail without bond.