Detective lays out Kilah's dad's story about injuries

Feb. 22, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

Jurors watched video of a crime scene walkthrough Thursday in the trial of Josh Houser, the man accused of injuring Kilah Davenport, in May 2012.

Union County Assistant District Attorney Craig Principe called Brandon Blackman, a special agent with the State Bureau of Investigation, to testify about an interview with Houser the night Kilah was hurt.

Blackman and Union County Sheriff’s deputy Lt. Brian Helms accompanied Houser from the hospital in Concord to his home in Fairview. Houser twice agreed to let investigators search his home. The entire interview was captured with an audio recorder, but Helms asked Houser to reenact his version of the afternoon’s events.

“A lot of times when we ask a suspect to reenact what happened, we ask them to use a doll or a pillow to represent the child,” Blackman said.

In both the audio and the video recording, Houser cooperated with detectives. He led them around the home he shared

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with his wife, Kirbi Davenport, and his step-daughter, Kilah. Houser said he was in the kitchen cooking pork chops that afternoon when he heard Kilah say she had to go to the bathroom. In the video, he walked from the stove just into the living room and pointed to a spot in front of the couch where he stated Kilah stood.

“I could tell she’d done something she wasn’t supposed to,” Houser said in the video.

When he came closer, he said he saw that she had urinated on herself. Houser repeatedly said Kilah had been potty trained and knew not to wet herself.

“I came over and popped her on the butt,” Houser said.

“Show me on the pillow how hard you hit her,” Helms said.

He held the pillow low on the floor and demonstrated the force he used when he hit her.

In the video, Houser walked back into the kitchen where he said he returned after telling Kilah to use the bathroom. After a few minutes, Houser said he heard a thump. In the master bedroom, Houser said he found Kilah on all fours just outside the bathroom door. A large hole in the drywall was just above the place he said he found her.

“I came in here and scooped her up and she just went all stiff like a banana,” Houser said.

He took detectives into the bathroom and said there he cleaned her off and changed her underwear. She became unresponsive, so he laid her on the bed and called 911.

In Blackman’s audio recording, Helms asked about the hole in the wall. Houser said he punched the wall when the 911 operator could not understand him.

“So you were in here when you made the call?” Helms said.

Houser said yes. Helms took several photos of Houser’s hands.

Blackman and Helms questioned Houser once the video camera was off. He asked if Kilah had any medical problems. Houser said she took several medications, often sleepwalked and was treated for cold sores. He added that she had acted tired and did not eat that day.

Houser was helpful, then he became defensive once Blackman and Helms explained their suspicion that he intentionally hurt Kilah.

“You don’t get blunt force trauma to the head from falling 32 inches,” Blackman said.

“I never touched that kid,” Houser said. “They’re at the hospital saying I did it but those people hate me.”

In the recording, Blackman explained that the events, Houser’s behavior and Kilah’s injuries showed “textbook” similarities to child abuse.

“I’m not accusing you of being a bad guy,” Blackman said. “Good people snap and do things they regret later.”

Helms and Blackman tried convincing Houser to admit what really happened. Instead, Houser told them to leave.

“This isn’t over yet,” Helms said as they left.

Helms arrested Houser hours later.