Fighting For Justice: Maliki Cheyney
by Shari Dovale
Maliki was only 17 months old, and a very happy child when he was brutally murdered by a man that promised to love and care for him. Joseph John Davis, his stepfather, is to be charged with his murder in Couer d’Alene, Idaho.
Friday, August 26th, was to be a quiet evening. They had just returned home from having dinner out. Dacia Cheyney, Maliki’s mother, tells me that she had let him try shrimp for the first time that night. Having forgot to pick an item up from the store, Dacia asked (Joe) Davis if she should take Maliki with her to the store. He told her to leave the boy with him since she only planned to be gone for a few minutes.
Maliki loved his mother and was very attached to her. He wasn’t happy when she left without him, even at the day care center. He started to cry when she left.
Dacia was only gone about 15 minutes. She tells me that Davis was unusually quiet, as was Maliki, when she returned. When she asked about her son, Davis told her that he started to cry and throw a fit. Davis then said that the child must have slipped and fallen. He was laying on the floor sleeping.
Dacia saw him laying on the floor, with a blanket placed across him, and tried to lift him but his arms fell limply to his sides. She knew immediately that something was
wrong. Dacia works at an assisted living facility and has some medical training. She started screaming for 911.
Dacia tells us that Davis was very slow to react. When she questioned whether or not Maliki could be having an allergic reaction to the shrimp, Davis quickly stated that it was not an allergy.
It wasn’t until she was at the hospital that she learned the whole truth of what happened to Maliki. His skull has been cracked and his brain was bleeding into his neck. The hospital personnel tried everything they could, but it was not to be.
Davis was taken into custody and learned the fate of his stepson in court. The video below shows his lack of reaction to the news.
Video by:KREM 2 News
Dacia, and Maliki’s father, Antonio Wilburn, are trying to find some reason for this to have happened to their son. They were able to donate several of Maliki’s organs to save at least 3 children. That is a double-edge sword for them.
But, they are angry and are afraid that the prosecution will cut a lenient deal with Davis. Knowing that public opinion can have an affect on the outcome of this case, Fighting for Maliki was developed to tell the story and ask for the harshest punishment for Davis.
There is enough evidence against Davis to charge him with the homicide of little Maliki. The prosecutors have indicated that they will do just that. There are even suggestions that Davis may have a history of abuse against children. That is still being investigated, however, there are some seale
d cases involving Davis.
So far, the prosecution is as outraged as the public over this case. The victim’s services office is in contact with the family, and they are receiving help. Keeping this story prominent with the public, and thereby the prosecutors, is a vital component in Maliki’s family getting justice for their son.