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Crime News Breaking News

Grandma, Husband Charged With Murder After 11-Year-Old Found Dead In Hotel Room

Stephanie Davis and her husband Thomas Desharnais have been charged with first-degree murder for the death of Chaskah Davis Smith, who was found with multiple injuries on his body.


By Gina Tron
Tragic and Disturbing Cases of Child Abuse

An Arizona woman and her husband are facing murder charges after her 11-year-old grandson was found dead inside a hotel room.

Investigators in Scottsdale received a call about a non-responsive person at an Extended Stay America hotel on Sunday and, when they arrived, found a boy with “significant injuries,” Sgt. Kevin Quon, a Scottsdale Police Department spokesperson, told Arizona Central.

The 11-year-old, identified as Chaskah Davis Smith by Phoenix CBS affiliate WPHO, was transferred to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

The child's grandmother Stephanie Davis, 51, and her husband Thomas Desharnais, 33, have since both been arrested a on a first-degree murder charge and two counts of child abuse, according to a press release provided to Oxygen.com via the Scottsdale Police Department.

Davis claimed in a 911 call that she had found Chaskah unresponsive in the bathtub in their hotel room. She also claimed to police that Chaskah "had been 'hurting himself' all day" and that he was known to self-harm, according to documents obtained by WPHO.

Stephanie Davis,Thomas Desharnais

She even asserted that he had hit himself in the head with a wrench before cutting his own genitals with a paring knife. The grandmother said neither her or her husband got the boy medical attention for his injuries, but supposedly let him take a bath instead.

Desharnais, however, told police that Davis had repeatedly and routinely abused both Chaskah and his 9-year-old brother, who was also at the scene. Police say the younger boy had bruising around his eyes.

“The Department of Child Services responded and took custody of the young male child,” police said in their press release.

During Davis' initial court appearance  onTuesday, she told the judge that the evidence against her was "literally just circumstantial." 

"Those kids were always taken care of," she said before claiming that her husband was coerced into a confession.

Complaints of child abuse regarding the grandmother and the victim date back to 2017, according to WPHO. Courtney Lage, a former hotel employee, told the station that she had called the Department of Child Services twice to report concerns about the boys.

"I worked in the office, so they would come up and pay and what not," she said. "When the children were in there I never saw their eyes, they were always covered. They had baseball hats. She would never allow them to talk directly."

Davis is being held on a $3.5 million cash bond while Desharnais is being held on a $1.5 million cash bond.