TODDLER DEATH: Davia James Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder and Child Abuse

Davia James faces 20 years to life in prison when she's sentenced by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz on Nov. 2.

A woman who stood by while her boyfriend fatally beat her 2-year-old son and then tried to cover for him when they were both arrested was convicted today of second-degree murder and child abuse.

A Riverside jury deliberated a little over three days before finding Davia Damanique James guilty in the Nov. 11, 2011, death of her son, Robert Voorhees.

James faces 20 years to life in prison when she's sentenced by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz on Nov. 2.

Her boyfriend, 24-year-old Andrew Lee Payne, is expected to be sentenced the same day to 25 years to life behind bars.

The defendants had separate juries because different witnesses were called to testify against them.

"I'm happy both juries took their time and took this case seriously, giving a fair trial to both sides," Deputy District Attorney Kevin Beecham told City News Service.

Last week, a jury convicted Payne of second-degree murder and assault on a child resulting in great bodily injury for beating Robert to the point of inflicting catastrophic internal injuries.

Beecham described the tot's death as "horrific," telling jurors that the child was hit repeatedly in the kidneys and suffered a fractured spine, a collapsed lung, cerebral edema and a herniated brain."

The official cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

According to Beecham, the youngster was left under Payne's supervision on Nov. 7, 2011, while James went to a doctor's appointment and ran errands for most of the day. By the time she came home that afternoon, her son appeared to be sleeping, the prosecutor said.

In fact, the boy was virtually comatose, unresponsive and slipping away.

When paramedics were summoned to the single-story house at 1435 W. Hays St., they initially believed Robert was dead, Beecham said.

The child was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he was declared brain dead on Nov. 11 and removed from life support.

Beecham said that Payne, a convicted drug user, severely beat the boy, and James, fully aware of what was going on, covered for him.

The pair have had two children together. The last baby was born after James was jailed.

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Washy October 03, 2012 at 11:37 PM
PTL for a smart jury!
Ja'net Voorhees October 03, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Justice for Robert!!!!!
Mariana Zuelsdorf October 04, 2012 at 12:04 AM
The children are with the killer's family? Who made that bright decision? Peace and justice for Robert.
Cindy M October 04, 2012 at 02:49 AM
AMEN!!!!!!! Thank goodness, even though it won't bring precious little Robert back. I hope it helps ease the pain a small bit for his father, Ms Voorhees and family. May he now truly Rest In Peace..... sweet innocent child..
Ellen Carr October 04, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Finally justice for Robert!! When Ms.James goes to prison I sincerely hope the inmates dole out their form of justice on Ms. James. I hope they beat her into a bloody pulp and leave her to suffer as much as Robert did. When she recovers from the first beating I hope the inmates give her a second, third, fourth and on and on beatings. Her worthless life should be filled with pain and until the joyous day she dies and goes to hell!
Sedna Fuentes October 04, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Never had a good vibe the only time I briefly met the guy prior to them moving to banning. I seen robert just under 3@ days before he passed. I went to the viewing. It was. Hard to see my little cousin in that state. Prior to meeting payne davia was a good mom . Don't know what changed it she used to baby sit my kids while babies til now and I had no issues. So I hope payne feels remorse. As she does for protecting a jerk. I love her reguardless. Rest In true peace robert vorhees.
Norma Puga October 05, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I know it wasnt right for both these parents, for what they did to that innocent lil boy, and they,ve already got there sentence for it,,, but at the same time to wish harmful things when they go to prison to this couple is not right either... Its not for us to judge them, & when we do that were interfering in GODS work,,, thats for GOD to judge n convict em!!!!! Soo all I have to say is leave it in GODS hands, cus he,s the one who will handle them,,, and may lil robert"R.I.P." Cus now he,s in heaven... Godbless everyone"!!!!!!
Iniece November 28, 2012 at 10:47 AM
This is the saddest story I've ever heard of a child dieing. He suffered for three days :( R.I.P baby boy ....
mae hempstead January 21, 2013 at 03:30 PM
very sad!! Rest in peace baby Robert.


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