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Former Abuse Victim Killed in California

September 24, 2003 GMT

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) _ A young man who’d been starved and chained to a bed as a teenager in a notorious child abuse case was fatally shot on a city street, authorities said Tuesday.

Jerry Davis, 20, who had been treated for mental problems since the abuse was stopped three years ago, was found bleeding on a sidewalk Friday night. He died at a hospital early Saturday.

Police arrested Randy Valenzuela, 23, for investigation of murder a short time later at a house in Hemet, about 30 miles southeast of San Bernardino. They traced Valenzuela by the license number of a black van seen near the shooting, according to a police report.


The motive was under investigation.

About 10 minutes before the shooting, Davis told a police officer that he had missed a bus. It was not known whether police were aware that Davis lived at a board-and-care home six miles away.

Davis and his younger brother were found three years ago chained to a bed in their home in the high desert town of Wonder Valley. Davis, then 17, and his 12-year-old brother had been starved and beaten for about 10 years. Authorities said they appeared to be mentally and physically stunted.

The boys’ parents, John and Carrie Davis, and another woman who lived with them were arrested. John Davis called himself ``Rajohn Lord″ and claimed to be an ordained Christian minister.

``Proverbs tells you to discipline your children, or else they will grow up and kill their parents,″ he said at the time. ``All I did was discipline them.″

John Davis committed suicide in jail in 2001. His wife pleaded guilty and was sent to a state mental hospital. The second woman was sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

The younger boy, now a teenager, lives in a foster home, said Kenne Miller, director of the nonprofit Child Advocates of San Bernardino County.

Jerry Davis spent time in a mental health facility but in July moved to an independent living center in Rialto, near San Bernardino.

Davis was a schizophrenic who took medication and was sometimes childlike and argumentative, Miller said.

``We think that somebody gave him a hard look, or ... he might (have given) them a hard look,″ which may have prompted the shooting, Miller said.

Davis had left the home Friday afternoon to visit friends, house manager Art Johns said.

``He was going by bus and I asked him not to go, because Jerry gets lost walking down the street,″ Johns said.