Neighbor says daughter threatened slain teacher

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May 8, 2007

AIKEN, S.C.---Police say 21-year-old Christina Mavris killed her mother, 56-year-old Aiken middle school teacher Dana Davis.

Mavris has been in jail since last Friday. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Since then, officers had called her only a witness.

Today, five days later, that changed when Mavris was charged with murdering her mother.

Davis was found stabbed to death after Mavris called 9-1-1 to report a fire at her mother's home.

News 12 spoke with Grace Sprouse, Davis' neighbor and good friend.

"I couldn't protect her," she said. "I wish I could help her."

Sprouse says Davis often complained to her of her daughter's mental instability, and she even saw the 21-year-old try to attack Davis several times.

"She said her daughter was really sick, and she came over here one day and threatened her, and I said, 'You can't come to my house'," Sprouse recalled.

According to incident reports filed by Davis in 2003, Mavris has a history of drug abuse and had been seen by four health facilities. Because of privacy laws, the report doesn't say what type of facilities she checked into.

In the last four years, Davis filed a number of reports with Aiken Public Safety to document her daughter's violent behavior, including one dated in 2005 when Mavris allegedly beat her mother with a wooden board and ripped the phone cord out of the wall and hit her with the phone.

Sprouse says her neighbor often feared for her life.

"She tried to get her daughter help," Sprouse said. "Look what she did to her."

Officers say more charges could be coming, and they're not ruling out the possibility of other suspects involved in the murder.

Funeral services for Dana Davis will be held Saturday, May 12 at 1 o'clock at Cedar Creek Church in Aiken.

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