Zachary Davis was fifteen years old when he murdered his mother with a sledgehammer and attempted to murder his older brother. According to court documents Davis confronted his mother about his older brother sexually abusing him and when the mother denied this teen killer allegedly snapped. In the end Zachary Davis would be convicted on murder, attempted murder and arson and must serve seventy years before he is eligible for parole
Zachary Davis 2021 Information
Zachary Davis –
Current Facility – Special Needs Facility –
Parole Eligibility – 2076
|Supervision Status:||INCARCERATED||Assigned Location:||SPECIAL NEEDS FACILITY|
|Combined Sentence(s) Length:||LIFE||Supervision/Custody Level:||MEDIUM|
|Sentence Begin Date:||08/12/2012||Sentence End Date:|
|Release Eligibility Date:||02/05/2076||Parole Hearing Date:|
|Parole Hearing Result:|
Zachary Davis Other News
A Hendersonville teen convicted in April of first-degree murder in the 2012 bludgeoning death of his mother will spend at least 71 years in prison.
Davis, 17, received an automatic life sentence for first-degree murder following a four-day trial in April. On Friday, June 5, Sumner County Judge Dee David Gay sentenced Zachary Davis to 20 years each for the additional charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated arson for also setting his house on fire while his older brother slept.
The range for each charge was 15 to 25 years. Gay ordered that those sentences be served concurrently, or at the same time. However, the judge ruled that those sentences should be served consecutive, or after, the life sentence. In Tennessee, a life sentence is 60 years with eligibility for parole after 51 years.
Zachary Davis’ case garnered national attention when television show personality Dr. Phil McGraw aired a jailhouse interview with the teen on May 22. In that interview, conducted two months before his trial, Davis detailed killing his mother, Melanie Davis, with a sledgehammer. When asked why he struck her nearly 20 times, he said in his usual flat, monotone voice that he “wanted to make sure she was dead.”
Davis’ exaggerated head nods and laughing at inappropriate times were “common behaviors for disorders ranging from severe anxiety to schizophrenia,” said McGraw.
“When I look in your eyes, I don’t see evil, I see lost,” he said.
But the judge, who watched the Dr. Phil interview in court on Friday, had a different take on Zachary Davis’ mental state.
Although several mental health experts who testified during the teen’s trial and competency hearing disagreed on a diagnosis, they did agree that he wasn’t legally insane, in that he knew right from wrong, Gay said.
Gay directed most of his comments to Zachary Davis himself, who sat still and showed little emotion.
“The thing that bothers me is that you have shown no regrets, no remorse, in murdering your own mother at age 15,” the judge said.
Other evidence, according to the judge, included two phone apps the teen had – one having to do with serial killers and the other listing torture devices; a notebook with such quotes as “you can’t spell laughter without slaughter;” and his statement to police that “I didn’t feel anything when I killed her.”
“You became evil, Mr. Davis; you went to the dark side. It’s that plain and simple.”
Earlier in the sentencing hearing, Zachary Davis’ paternal grandmother, Gail Cron, asked for leniency and mercy.
She said that if her grandson, whose father died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when Zach was 9, been given proper mental health treatment, “this would not have happened.”
“Every teacher, every guidance counselor should have to stand trial with Zach,” she said. “Zach is not a monster. He’s a child who made a horrible mistake.”
In previous court testimony, Cron said that Melanie Davis cut off ties with her after the death of Zach’s father and after the family moved to Hendersonville from Kentucky. She also said that Melanie Davis failed to get her son help when he was diagnosed with depression following his father’s death.
“I would like for Zach not to be forgotten here today like he has for much of his life,” Cron said.
After the trial in April, Gay said he would request that Davis be remanded to the Louis DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville.
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