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Couple accused of killing Scottsdale boy facing new charges | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The grandmother and her husband accused of killing her grandson in a Scottsdale hotel room last year are facing new charges based on new allegations.

New records obtained by the 12News I-Team reveal a new child abuse case filed in May 2023 in Maricopa County Superior Court against Stephanie Marie Davis and her husband, Thomas Desharnais.  

The couple was previously charged with first-degree murder and child abuse after 11-year-old Chaskah Davis was killed in January 2022.  

The new charges include kidnapping and more allegations of abuse of Chaskah and his half-brother, who were reportedly in the care of Davis and Desharnais.  In a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, a judge determined there is enough evidence for the new charges to go to trial.  

At the end of January 2022, police records said Chaskah was found unresponsive at a Scottsdale hotel where the family had lived since 2019. Chaskah later died at the hospital, and his 9-year-old half-brother was taken into state custody.

Davis is the boys’ biological grandmother and Desharnais is her husband.

New records show that Davis told police that Chaskah injured himself before he died, while Desharnais said his wife increased “physical discipline” in the months leading up to Chaskah’s death.

“Did Mr. Desharnais acknowledge that he failed to get medical attention and failed to try to stop Stephanie?” asked a prosecutor Tuesday.

“Yes,” answered a Scottsdale police detective, adding that Desharnais wrote an apology letter to the victims.

The Department of Child Safety opened three cases against the family in 2017 and closed two of them within a month, the other after two months, according to their documents. DCS detailed that abuse allegations in all three cases were unsubstantiated.

Scottsdale Police also investigated the family twice before the murder case.

The I-Team uncovered that Stephanie Davis had a warrant out for her arrest in Minnesota since 2016 during all these investigations that both agencies missed. The I-Team also found no state records in Arizona or Minnesota indicating Davis had legal custody of the boys.  

It’s possible tribal records could have more information – but last year, those courts wouldn’t share any details with the I-Team.

“They would wear hats, face coverings sunglasses, even in the midst of the summer heat,” the Scottsdale detective testified, referring to information gathered from interviews with hotel workers and guests.

Neighbors and workers at the hotel suspected abuse of the kids, with one witness at the scene telling 12News she reported the family to DCS after 2017, which DCS did not confirm. 

DCS did not get back to 12News Tuesday in a request for comment on the new charges filed against Davis and Desharnais.

The new charges come partly from a forensic interview with the surviving brother, who detailed that he saw his grandma and Desharnais abuse his brother and that he suffered abuse himself.

The surviving boy initially didn’t talk to investigators about what happened but later opened up, saying his grandparents threatened to “hunt him down and whoop him” if he said anything.

The judge entered not guilty pleas for both defendants on the new charges.

Davis and Desharnais are scheduled for trial on all charges in 2024 and face the death penalty in the murder case.

I-Team

Learn more about other 12News investigations by subscribing to the 12News YouTube channel and watching our I-Team playlist.

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