Guilty verdict on all counts in 2019 death of toddler

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 12:50 PM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A jury found the boyfriend of a mother guilty of all counts in the 2019 murder of her nearly 2-year-old son in Columbia County.

“We, the jury, find the defendant as to Count 1, malice murder, guilty. Count 2, felony murder based on aggravated assault, guilty. Count 3, felony murder based on cruelty to children in the first degree, guilty. Count 4, aggravated assault, guilty. Count 5, cruelty to children in the first degree, guilty.”

Jurors on Friday morning began considering several charges against Charles Sconyers, an Augusta firefighter arrested in connection with the May 2019 murder of Lincoln DaVitte just shy of the boy’s second birthday.

It was a feeling of disbelief as the clerk of court delivered the guilty verdict. Sconyers was put in handcuffs immediately.

Charges being considered in the death included malice murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and cruelty to children in the first degree.

Sentencing immediately followed the verdict.

J. Wade Padgett, judge said: “The jury’s verdict of guilty relative to malice murder. I sentence the defendant to life in prison with the possibility of parole.”

The judge gave Sconyers a chance to talk after the verdict was read.

“I feel terrible about what happened to Lincoln, but I did not do this, and I stand to this day and say that,” Sconyers said. “This is not right. This is not justice.”

Sconyers will serve life in prison with the possibility of parole for malice murder charge, 20 years in confinement for aggravated assault, and 20 years in confinement for child cruelty. All of the sentences are concurrent.

There’s no sentence for the felony murder counts because even though he was found guilty, that’s a charge that no longer applies once there’s a guilty verdict of malice murder.

Before the case went to the jury, the prosecution on Friday rested its rebuttal a day after Sconyers took the stand for about an hour of testimony.

A defense attorney asked Thursday if Sconyers had hurt Lincoln.

“No, sir. ... I would never ... I’d never hurt any child,” Sconyers answered.

Apparently, jurors disagreed.

Lincoln’s grandmother and father stood in front of the room saying they wish no mercy on Sconyers.

During closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Natalie Paine spoke about the defendant’s character.

“Nobody has a record until they do for the first time. It doesn’t mean they haven’t done it before. It just means they haven’t been caught.”

She says this verdict means closure for one family.

“Lincoln deserves justice, and there is only one verdict that speaks justice. That speaks the truth,” said Paine.

EARLIER COVERAGE:

The defense continued with several witnesses including family, friends and medical professionals.

Sconyers: “Ultimately, he became my son.”

Defense attorney: “And you thought of him that way?”

Sconyers: “I thought of him that way.”

On day four of the trial, Sconyers gave an emotional testimony, breaking down what he says happened on May 1, 2019.

It started with picking Lincoln up from day care.

“He came up, and he was tearing up a little bit. I figured he was just sad because he didn’t like to leave his friends a lot,” he said.

Sconyers says they headed home. They were going to play outside when they got home. He says he opened the back door and went into the bathroom to adjust his knee brace.

“He was right behind me standing there, and I said I’d be there in a minute, and I pushed the door shut, and he took off running. A few seconds later, I hear him running, and that’s when I heard the thump,” he said.

Charles Sconyers
Charles Sconyers(WRDW)

Sconyers says he heard a type of scream, and then it was quiet.

“I found him in the back laying on the back patio, and he was laying like this, and he turned his head just a little bit, and then he went out of it,” he said.

He says he stabilized his neck and called 911. He told paramedics who he was and was trying to help.

Defense attorney: “How often do you think about this?”

Sconyers: “Every day, every night, I relive it. I just wish there was something I could do. I did everything I could possibly do to help him.”

He says he would never do anything like this to anyone.or any child.”

The defense rested its case after one last question.

Defense attorney: “Are you telling the truth this afternoon?”

Sconyers: “Yes. I swear to God.”

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