The Kansas Supreme Court upheld a decision against a Hiawatha man convicted and sentenced to nearly almost 20 years in prison for beating his son to death in 2013.

Brown County Kevin Hill was notified of the ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court Friday morning, noting the vote was unanimous to uphold the conviction of Davis for the death of his 4-year-old son Mekhi Boone.

“Today ends a multi year legal battle by Davis and his legal team to set aside his conviction and sentence,” Hill said. “We wholeheartedly agree with the Supreme Court’s decision and are pleased to finally have some closure on this case.”

Mekhi died March 5, 2013 at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where he was taken by helicopter ambulance after initially being brought to Hiawatha Community Hospital.

Lee Davis IV, remained quiet and appeared unemotional during his sentencing in Brown County District Court while Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill showed photos of Davis’s 4-year-old son, Mekhi Boone. The first photo showed Boone smiling happily while sitting in a car seat. Several other more disturbing photos showed a battered and bruised little boy on a ventilator at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where Boone was taken following a severe beating that resulted in his death last March.

Hill said during court proceedings that Mekhi’s death was the result of severe physical trauma to his head, but his body was covered with old and new bruises that could have been consistent with beatings that occurred over the span of a week. Photo evidence shown in court detailed the extent of the bruising on Mekhi’s body and showed him on a ventilator in the two days prior to his death.

Davis was initially charged with first degree murder, along with felony child abuse, however in late April, Davis entered a plea of no contest to a charge of second degree murder and felony child abuse.

District Judge Jim Patton sentenced Davis to the maximum sentence of 200 months on a charge of second degree murder in the death of Boone and the maximum sentence of 34 months on a felony child abuse charge. The sentences were to run consecutively and following his release, Davis is also instructed to register as a violent offender for 15 years.

Davis’ attorney, Stephen Kraushaar of Marysville, asked the court to consider that Davis took his son to the hospital for medical treatment of his injuries and that he cooperated with authorities by providing information that led to a second arrest in the case, Janice Summerford — Davis’ girlfriend — who was also present during the beating that led to Mekhi’s death.

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