On March 11, 2016, Brian Colby Davenport and Debora Lynn Abney appeared in the Juvenile Court for Catoosa County for a hearing to determine if their parental rights should be terminated concerning their minor children. Davenport was angry with Abney both during and after the hearing. That evening, the two were in a vehicle on Taylor’s Ridge when Davenport shot Abney in the right side of the back of the head with a .38 caliber handgun. After the shooting, Davenport called his mother, who then called the property owner who, in turn, called 911. Davenport attempted to stage the scene so it appeared Abney had committed suicide. Davenport placed the handgun in the victim’s left hand and cleaned up blood evidence inside the vehicle. The joint investigation by the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation revealed facts that made a suicide unlikely, if not impossible, including finding mud in the barrel of the handgun. During an interview with Detective Stockard of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, Davenport told multiple and inconsistent versions of events and admitted staging the scene by moving the gun. The investigation disclosed Davenport had a lengthy history of domestic abuse of the victim and other women in his life which included prior death threats to Ms. Abney.
The Catoosa County Grand Jury indicted Davenport for malice murder and related charges.
After a jury trial commencing on March 27, 2017, Davenport was convicted on all counts. The State of Georgia was represented by Chief Assistant District Attorney Chris Arnt. Davenport was represented by Assistant Public Defender Sean Lowe. At the sentencing hearing held on April 4, 2017, Judge Brian House imposed a sentence of Life without the possibility of parole for the murder charge and an additional ten years to be served consecutively on other charges.