A southwest Missouri man, a suspect in a 2-year-old's death, has been accused in a separate case of beating and choking another child and pulling her hair out, court records say.
The Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged Kenneth R. Davis with seven counts of abuse of an 8-year-old girl.
Davis, 31, pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday, and he denied striking the girl in an interview with a detective, court records said.
The Springfield man was arrested early Sunday after a concerned family member called the sheriff's office in reference to Davis allegedly abusing the 8-year-old girl.
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A deputy arrived at the Greene County home and came across the girl, who had "visible bruising on her face, around her eyes, swollen and bloody lips, severe bruising on her buttocks, clumps of hair missing from her head and bruising on her neck," court records said.
The child told deputies Davis struck her face multiple times, hit her head with a phone charger, choked her, spanked her with a belt and pulled her hair out, court records said. The sheriff's office also spoke to other witnesses who said they saw part of the alleged physical abuse that happened Saturday.
Authorities stopped Davis in traffic that morning and took him into custody for questioning.
In an interview, Davis told a detective the girl got injured by falling down multiple times Saturday, court records said. He said while checking her head for injuries, he pulled a tick from her scalp and a few hairs were pulled out in the process.
He also described an incident where he slammed on the brakes in a vehicle he was driving and the girl fell forward and hit her lip on the console.
In another instance, Davis said the girl cut her face after running into a tree branch.
In regard to bruises on the girl's rear, Davis said he didn't know how they got there, but he said he was told the bruises came from another man hitting the girl with a belt, court records said.
Davis was "adamant" he never struck the girl, court records said, but he told a detective he once hit her across the face by accident for spitting food in his vehicle.
On the day witnesses called the sheriff's office to check on the girl, court records indicated Davis had gotten into an argument with the girl's mother because she believed he struck the girl on the mouth. Witnesses told authorities Davis left the home with the girl after the argument Saturday and didn't return until almost midnight.
Davis remained in the county jail Tuesday with bond set at $100,000.
In the prosecution's bond recommendation filed Sunday, an assistant prosecuting attorney noted Davis is "a suspect in the child abuse homicide" of a 2-year-old in Buffalo.
The court document said the 2-year-old, whose name was redacted, "suffered a large laceration to her cheek, several facial bruising to the base of her neck, bruising around and behind the ears and a pattern of small lacerations to her forehead that appeared to be intentionally inflicted."
Family members of Kinzlea told KY3 and the Springfield News-Leader this week that Davis was dating Kinzlea's mother.
Kinzlea's death is being investigated as a homicide by the Buffalo Police Department.
No charges have been filed in connection to her death.