Boy charged in sledgehammer killing will be tried as adult - WKRN News 2

Boy charged in sledgehammer killing will be tried as adult

Posted: Updated: Sep 18, 2012 05:32 PM
Zachary Davis, 15, faces charges of first degree murder for the August beating death of his mother. Zachary Davis, 15, faces charges of first degree murder for the August beating death of his mother.
GALLATIN, Tenn. -

The case against a 15-year-old Sumner County teen charged with beating his mother to death and setting the family's Hendersonville home on fire last month has been transferred to adult court.

Zachary Davis faces charges of first degree murder, criminal attempt to commit first degree murder and aggravated arson after a mental evaluation determined he is not disabled.

He will be transferred to the Sumner County jail where he will be held without bond.

"Judge Brown listened to testimony of a psychiatrist and others and he ruled that Zachary Davis is competent to stand trial and proceed with his own defense," District Attorney Ray Whitley said.

According to an affidavit, Davis attacked and killed his mother with a sledgehammer while she slept in her bed on the night of August 10.

"It was a horrific murder and the judge made the observation it was a very savage murder and the defendant, Zachary Davis could not be handled in juvenile court properly so he will have to be transferred into criminal court for him to be treated as an adult," Whitley said.

Davis then went upstairs and started a fire in the family's bonus room, leaving his older brother asleep in his bedroom upstairs.

When Davis was arrested a short distance from the home, he was found with a notebook that contained a letter in which he confessed to killing his mother and leaving his brother to burn in the fire.

Forty-six-year-old Melanie Davis, an Austria native, was raising her two teenage boys alone after her husband died of Lou Gehrig's disease a few years ago.

The brother was uninjured.

Davis' defense attorney did not have any comments regarding the case.

A Sumner County grand jury will hear evidence against Davis on October 1.

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