The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a woman convicted of the robbery-motivated shooting death of her 79-year-old aunt, who was the mother of a Los Angeles Police Department training officer.
Barbara Jean Davenport was found guilty in September 2015 of first- degree murder and robbery for the June 2, 2012, killing of her aunt. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation that Cleo Hughes was murdered during the commission of a robbery.
The victim’s son drove to his mother’s house after not being able to reach her by telephone and found her in her bedroom, where she had been shot once in the chest.
Davenport was charged the following month with her aunt’s murder.
In a ruling last December, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in Davenport’s trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The appellate court panel noted that the victim managed a family-owned restaurant and kept money in the house, which was missing.
Davenport — who was homeless and unemployed — scanned her player card at one casino five times within a one-week period and her player card at another casino 30 times within about 2 1/2 weeks, and her spending on items including two designer pairs of prescription glasses and a Las Vegas hotel stay had subsided by the end of the month, according to the 28-page ruling.
Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney sentenced Davenport to life in prison without the possibility of parole in October 2015. He said then that she abused “a position of trust” and that the victim was “elderly,” of “slight stature” and “particularly vulnerable.”
—City News Service
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