July 25, 2012 Austin Legal
Selwyn P. Davis, sentenced to death by a Travis County jury for the 2006 Austin murder of his girlfriend’s mother, was found dead in his cell on Texas’ death row last week, according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Corrections officers conducting routine security checks found Davis, 30, unresponsive on the floor of his cell about 9 p.m. Friday, spokesman Jason Clark wrote in an email.
“Staff began life saving measures, called 911, and took the offender to the unit infirmary,” Clark wrote. “An ambulance then transported Davis to Livingston Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced deceased by an attending physician at 10:04 pm.”
Clark said the cause of death is unknown and that the department’s Office of Inspector General will investigate the death, which is routine.
Davis stabbed Regina Lara to death in her 38 1/2 Street apartment on Aug. 22, 2006.
According to testimony at his trial, the killing occurred during a two-day crime spree that began the day before, when he brutally beat his ex-girlfriend in their Southeast Austin apartment, fracturing her eye socket and jaw, slicing her leg, pouring rubbing alcohol over her head and threatening to set her on fire.
Later that night, he went to his uncle’s South Austin house and sliced him with a knife, according to testimony. He left after taking his aunt’s car and purse and went on an overnight drug binge, according to testimony.
The next day he went to Lara’s apartment and attacked her when she came home from work. Davis also sexually assaulted a teenage girl at the house, according to testimony.
In seeking the death penalty, prosecutors revealed Davis’ long criminal history, which included assaults on police officers and unprovoked attacks — on a teacher and another student — at Lanier High School, and robberies of immigrant workers in the East Riverside Drive area.
When he was 16, Davis attacked a 13-year-old girl by punching her in the face and kicking her in the stomach after her mother told Davis the girl was pregnant, according to testimony. Information from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has been added to this story since it was originally filed