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Sioux City murder suspect tests positive for COVID-19, seeks bond reduction
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Sioux City murder suspect tests positive for COVID-19, seeks bond reduction

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SIOUX CITY -- The lawyer for a Sioux City man awaiting trial for the death of a 19-month-old girl says her client has tested positive for COVID-19 and needs to be released from custody so he can receive medical treatment.

Public defender Jennifer Solberg said Tayvon Davis needs access to better treatment than what can be provided at the Woodbury County Jail. She is asking that Davis' bond be reduced from $200,000 to $50,000, enabling him to bond out of jail by posting 10 percent, or $5,000.

Tayvon Davis mugshot-newer

Davis

A hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Davis tested negative for the virus earlier this month.

"The jail cannot keep inmates safe in its facilities," Solberg said in her motion for a bond reduction.

Assistant Woodbury County Attorney Kristine Timmins has resisted Solberg's motion, saying that Davis has access to medical care while in jail, his symptoms were mild, and he has since recovered.

Davis' recovery was news to Solberg, who said Davis learned of his positive test Thursday or Friday.

"I'm unaware that he's recovered," she said Monday.

Timmins said she could not comment on Davis' medical condition. Woodbury County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tony Wingert said he could not comment on inmates' medical conditions.

Davis, 24, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, child endangerment resulting in the death of a child and multiple acts of child endangerment and is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 27 in Woodbury County District Court.

At a bond reduction hearing earlier this month, Solberg said COVID-19, a respiratory illness, was a greater threat to Davis' health because he has asthma. District Judge Tod Deck denied the request.

Woodbury County Sheriff's Sgt. Randy Uhl testified at the June 15 hearing that 14 jail inmates had previously tested positive for the virus. Wingert said that as of Monday, there were six confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the jail's inmates. All inmates who test positive are isolated from the rest of the jail population, he said.

Davis is suspected of injuring his girlfriend's daughter numerous times from July 1, 2018, until Aug. 22, 2018, when she was taken to a Sioux City hospital unresponsive. She died three days later at an Omaha hospital.

An autopsy revealed multiple head injuries, retinal hemorrhages in the girl's eyes, a kidney injury and other "intentionally inflicted injuries." Her death was ruled a homicide caused by complications from multiple blunt-force injuries.

The autopsy also revealed previous fractures to the girl's vertebrae and several ribs, and the child's brain and eyes also showed evidence of ongoing abuse.

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