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Family awaits Kilah Davenport’s autopsy, candlelight vigil planned

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MINT HILL, N.C. — A candlelight vigil is planned for Kilah Davenport on Sunday night, the North Carolina child abuse victim who died earlier this week.

WSOC-TV reported that the event is planned for 8 p.m. at the Forty Rod Roadhouse at 9229 Lawyers Road in Mint Hill.

Davenport was badly abused by her stepfather, Joshua Houser, in 2012. She died on Thursday after officials said she was having trouble breathing.

Houser was sentenced last month to 92 to 123 months in prison for felony child abuse.

He was convicted of shoving Kilah’s head through a wall of his home in Indian Trail in May 2012. She was 3 years old at the time.

Kilah suffered a broken collarbone, a fractured skull, a brain injury and bruising. The beating caused permanent injuries to her skull and brain.

A lawyer said Friday Houser could face more charges in her death and Davenport's grandparents said they would support that.

The family is currently awaiting an autopsy on Davenport’s death. Leslie Davenport, Kilah’s grandmother, said if her injuries are proven to be her cause of death, she wants Houser to be retried.

Kilah Davenport's case prompted “Kilah’s Law” in North Carolina.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law last April tougher punishments for serious child abuse cases. The new law could double prison time.

An offender who would have served 15 years in prison could now serve up to nearly 33 years and Kilah's family said they're not finished yet.

Kilah Davenport's family also said a memorial service for the little girl will be held next Saturday.


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