HOUSTON—A man and his former girlfriend now face charges in connection with the 2009 death of a toddler who was allegedly beaten, burned and starved.
Barry Wayne Jones, 32, stands charged with murder and Chandre Lachelle Davison, 29, stands charged with injury to a child in the death of Sania Sandoval, Davison’s 2-year-old daughter.
Prosecutors allege Jones repeatedly beat the girl with some sort of blunt object, causing the head injuries that led to her death. Davison is accused of failing to adequately feed her daughter, who weighed only 16.5 pounds. Court documents say the girl suffered numerous fractures, bruises and cigarette burns and reportedly was locked in closets as punishment for crying.
Shortly before Jones surrendered at the Harris County Jail, he told KHOU 11 News he was innocent.
“I’m out here accused of murder,” he said. “So I’m here to get it straight and let everybody that knows me as a person and a man that I’m innocent, man. You know, I was framed.”
At last report, the child’s mother was still at large.
Davison told authorities she checked on her daughter around 11:00 on the night of November 12, 2009, and she appeared fine. The mother said her boyfriend later told her the child wasn’t breathing and was gasping for air, court documents said.
Documents obtained by KHOU 11 News show that a Child Protective Services case worker repeatedly visited the apartment where the family lived in the five months before the girl’s death. The home was filthy with dog urine and feces, the case worker reported, and the child appeared to be malnourished. CPS officials said the girl, along with three siblings, was left in the home because a pediatrician confirmed the prematurely born child had serious health problems that prevented her from gaining weight.
The case worker was disciplined after the child died, officials said, and he quit his job a few months later.
Quannel X, a community activist who frequently facilitates the surrender of accused felons, met Jones and his family in the parking lot of a Midtown fast food restaurant, then drove him to the county jail.
“He said, ‘I know what this is about,’” Quannel X said. “’This is about an ex-girlfriend angry that I’m with somebody else now, who has now made an allegation against me, changing her story to get me locked up because she hates me now.’”
Jones surrendered without incident to members of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force.
“I believe God’s going to help me out of this, you know,” Jones said to KHOU 11 News. “This is for everybody that’s watching. Innocent man. Be home soon.”
If he’s convicted, Jones could spend the rest of his life in prison.