AP NEWS

Protesters mob Maleah Davis’ mother after court hearing for stepfather

May 13, 2019

A court date for the stepfather of 4-year-old Maleah Davis turned into a volatile scene on Monday as protesters chased the missing girl’s mother out of the courthouse and down the street, alleging that she was just as complicit in her daughter’s possible death.

At least a dozen people, some bearing signs and T-shirts declaring “Justice for Maleah,” had arrived for an initial court appearance for Derion Vence, the stepfather accused of tampering with a human corpse in Maleah’s disappearance. His court date was reset, but the protesters and reporters swarmed mother Brittany Bowens when she walked out of court with community activist Quanell X.

Bowens stood back as Quanell X spoke, shaking as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“The main thing right now that all of us want to know is, what did he do with Maleah?” Quanell X said.

The protesters rang out with questions, making it difficult for Quanell X to speak.

“Why isn’t she locked up?” one yelled.

Quanell X and Bowens walked down the hallway of the courthouse as protesters followed, chanting, “Justice for Maleah!”

Several people in the mob yelled as they followed the mother down the street. She broke down crying when one handed her a poster and gave her a hug.

Bowens told the media through Quanell X on Friday that she was aware her fiance might have physically and sexually abused the little girl in the past, but had never reported it to police.

Maleah Davis was reported missing on May 4, when Vence told police that while checking on a possible flat tire near Bush Intercontinental Airport, three men knocked him in-and-out of consciousness for nearly 24 hours and that his stepdaughter had been abducted.

Vence, 26, was arrested Saturday at a relative’s home after nearly a week of ignoring calls from police.

Houston Police Department officials have not publicly said whether they believe the child is still alive. A body has not been found, and Texas EquuSearch crews have spent days combing near Vence’s apartment.

samantha.ketterer@chron.com

Twitter.com/sam_kett