In July, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office Captain John W. Murphy told the Daily Times the investigation into the 2016 murders of Candace Newsome, 48, and her 16-year-old daughter, Kristina Mykal Newsome, was still very much ongoing. Kristana was know to most people as Mykal
“We have talked with numerous people,” Murphy said. “It still is a very active investigation.”
If you have been following the news, you already know Murphy was very much correct.
On October 4, the sheriff’s office and Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman announced the indictment of Kristian R. Davis, 22, of Lucasville, on two counts of murder in connection with the 2016 deaths.
In the time since that announcement, both Tieman’s office as well as Murphy’s have been extremely quiet in terms of giving out any details in the case.
Following a verbal public records request made by the Daily Times, Tieman’s office released a copy of Davis’ short indictment dated Oct. 4.
In part, the indictment reads “On or about Jan. 4, 2016, at Scioto County, Ohio, Kristian R. Davis, unlawfully, did cause the death of Candace S. Newsome, as a proximate result of the offender committing or attempting to commit an offense of violence that is a felony of the first or second degree, to wit: felonious assault.”
The second murder count against Davis reads exactly the same except that it replaces the name of Candace Newsome with that of Kristina M. Newsome (Mykal). Both counts carry firearms specifications alleging Davis had a firearm on or about his person while committing the offense and displayed that firearm in the course of committing any offense.
The indictment contains no other information regarding Davis or the murders.
Tieman’s office also supplied the original incident report from 2016. However, that report contains little information not already released to the public. It gives the address of the incident as 4098 Blue Run Rd., Lucasville, although most media reports as well as social media commentary, some of which is attributed to family members of the deceased, state the incident took place in Minford.
Some of the plentiful social media chatter on the Newsome case, none of which can be confirmed, mentions the possibility of an accomplice to the murders.
The 2016 incident report lists no employer for Candace Newsome. The incident report does not contain this information, but Mykal Newsome was a sophomore at Minford High School. There is a video featuring MHS students placing roses on an empty chair during what would have been Mykal Newsome’s high school graduation ceremony.
The original incident report carries no information on any suspect, except to note authorities at that time had no idea of any relationship between the victims and their killer. According to various media reports, Davis was known to the Newsomes and has been described as a frequent visitor to their home.
The last item provided by prosecutors is a Scioto County Sheriff’s Office complaint summary dated June 24, 2019. Again, the document does not provide much in the way of details regarding the case. Nowhere in the one-page document is there listed a motive for the murders. The complaint notes the entire case began Jan. 4, 2016 when the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from the Newsome’s Blue Run Road address. The summary states the 911 call consisted of a female “screaming her niece and aunt were dead.”
Sheriff’s Detective Jodi Conkel completed the summary. Conkel received praise from Murphy and county Sheriff Marty V. Donini for her part in winning the indictment against Davis.
“Detective Conkel’s investigative skills are remarkable as witnessed by the unwavering and determined efforts to develop enough credible evidence to hold the suspect accountable for these senseless murders,” Donini said.
The sheriff also praised Murphy for assigning Conkel to the case.
“Capt. Murphy’s decision to reassign a homicide investigation to Detective Conkel so the circumstances and evidence surrounding the murders could be looked at by someone from another perspective has obviously contributed to the successful resolution to this criminal investigation and I applaud his decision.”
In 2016, Donini told the Daily Times it appeared the teenage girl attempted to flee the scene. He also stated officials found the mother in her bed. He added on the advice of then county prosecutor Mark Kuhn, the sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the Newsome’s home.
“We just want to make sure all of our bases are covered,” Donini said at the time. “Therefore, we left the residence, went and got the search warrant and we came back with the search warrant.”
At the time, authorities speculated only the mother and daughter lived in the trailer. The father and husband apparently did not live at the same residence. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations assisted Donini’s office in processing the crime scene. BCI officials did not respond to a request for comment for this story. Attempts to reach the Newsomes’ surviving family were also unsuccessful.
Davis was in the Scioto County Court Of Common Pleas in front of Judge Howard Harcha for his arraignment on Tuesday. He entered pleas of not guilty to both murder charges and Harcha placed bail at $250,000. A criminal pretrial was set for Oct. 16.
When his office announced Davis’ indictment, Donini reported the suspect, whose address was given as Blue Run Road in Lucasville, had been incarcerated in the county jail since November 2018 on what Donini said were unrelated charges.
According to the website of the Scioto Court of Common Pleas, including the murder case, Davis is a suspect in seven open criminal cases. Besides murder, Davis faces charges of aggravated vehicular assault, along with what appeared to be two charges each of receiving stolen property and grand theft auto. Although it is not clear this particular charge is what kept Davis in county jail for nearly a year, one of the grand theft charges was filed in November 2018.
The court website states officials planned a jury trial in the case this month, but that trial was rescheduled to November. However, the website further states the November trial also has been canceled. The website does not listen any reasons for the cancellations.
Past criminal cases against Davis that are listed as closed, involve charges of receiving stolen property and failure to comply.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370-0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.