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Man charged with murdering California woman in her home

September 8, 2021 GMT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man was charged Tuesday with murdering a 61-year-old Northern California woman after breaking into her home, sexually assaulting her, killing her two dogs and setting the house on fire, authorities said.

Troy Davis, 51, appeared in Sacramento County Superior Court on six felony counts following the murder of Mary Tibbitts on Friday, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Davis was arrested Saturday on a parole violation, when police identified him as a suspect in the murder of Tibbitts, who lived in Sacramento.

Authorities say Davis and Tibbitts did not know each other.

Davis has a lengthy criminal history in Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties, with cases dating back to 2013 that include charges of resisting an officer, battery on an officer, possession of methamphetamine, threatening an officer, misdemeanor sexual battery and assault and battery, the newspaper reported.

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He was released from prison following felony convictions in 2017 and 2018 for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. Following his release, authorities say he committed more crimes in June 2021 and then was released again.

In June, he was arrested on suspicion of auto theft and released on his own recognizance. He did not show up for an arraignment on June 22.

Davis was described as a transient who initially showed up in Tibbitts’ neighborhood and was caught by a doorbell camera masturbating on a resident’s porch Friday, before returning to the area and breaking into Tibbitts’ home, the Bee quoted law enforcement officers as saying.

He faces one count of murder and felony counts of entering Tibbitts’ home for a burglary, assault with intent to commit rape, and two counts for intentionally killing her dogs, Molly and Jenny.

Law enforcement officers were called to Tibbets’ home in Sacramento on Friday where a fire was reported, and they found her dead inside.

The case has outraged prosecutors, who blame legislators for weakening prosecutors’ ability to keep criminals in prison once they are convicted.