Zachary Davis is infamously remembered for killing his mother in 2012 while she slept. In addition, the then 15-year-old made the decision to set his home ablaze in the hopes that his elder brother Josh would die in the flames.
Davis was later diagnosed with schizophrenia and a depressive illness. However, the authorities believe his crime was premeditated, and at the age of 17, two years after killing his mother, he was given a life sentence for first-degree murder and an extra 20 years for attempted murder and aggravated arson for setting fire to his home.
Life and Family Background of Zachary Davis27-years-old Zachary Davis was born sometime in 1997 to his parents Chris Davis (father) and his mother Melanie Davis who used to be involved in athletics.
He attended Station Camp High School in Tennessee alongside his older brother Josh Davis, who used to be an amateur football player.
He Became Mentally ill after Losing His Father at the age of 9
At the tender age of 9, in 2007, Zachary, unfortunately, lost his father to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s illness. Soon after the passing of his father, he was diagnosed with some mental problems which made him begin acting in strange manners.
Consequently, Zachary went through the first two stages of the grieving process, which include numbness and depression, but he did not get to the third stage which is termed ‘recovery.’ This may be in part due to the fact that his mother yanked him out of therapy by moving the family to Sumner County, Tenn.
Although Zach’s mother thought moving her family will help her and her children adjust to their father’s death, it only made things worse especially for Zachary who was later given a schizophrenia and depression disorder diagnosis.
Among other symptoms, Zachary claimed to be hearing voices including his late father’s. He also became generally quiet and distant from people. Furthermore, he had an unusual sense of style because he always wore the same hoodie, even when it was warm outside. Additionally, a Reddit post from a purported former classmate of Zachary said that he would sit and walk in the same manner every time.
Meanwhile, psychiatrists are aware that going through a severe depression like the one Zachary did after losing a loved one at such a young age, is common. However, people are able to get their lives back with the appropriate treatment.
Zachary Davis Bludgeoned His Mother Several times till She Died
The mother of Zachary tried her best to cope with her husband’s passing and maintain the happiness of her boys or so she thought. Unfortunately, she had no idea that her youngest son Zachary was already out of her reach. Following his mental illness, the then-15-year-old frequently spoke in a monotone whisper and had both a list of torture devices and a serial killer app on his phone. He kept alarming anecdotes in his journals, including “You can’t spell slaughter without laughter.” He also read Misery by Stephen King and engaged in violent video game play.
Up until the evening of August 10, 2012, his odd conduct had seemed inconsequential. Josh, Zachary’s older brother, and his mother went to see a movie together. Upon their return, Zachary packed clothes, notebooks, a toothbrush, gloves, a ski mask, and a claw hammer into a bag and a satchel. He might have appeared to be planning to flee his house from the outside, but on the inside, something much more terrible was at work.
At 9 o’clock, while Melanie was fast asleep, Zachary went into her room and struck her about 20 times with a sledgehammer he retrieved from the basement. After making sure his mother was dead, Zachary locked her door covered in her blood and proceeded to the family gaming room. He doused the place in alcohol and gasoline before lighting it on fire. He then locked the door and left the building. Josh had been the target of his plan to set the house on fire, but because he had shut the door to the game room, the fire did not quickly spread and the older brother was afterward awakened by a fire alarm. Josh found his mother to be a bloody mess when he went to get her. He then managed to get away from the blaze and went to a neighbor’s house. Authorities later discovered Zach around 10 kilometers from his house.
Why Did Davis End His Mother’s Life?
Zachary claimed he murdered his mother because she was not taking care of him following the death of his father. He has also alleged that his older brother raped him, and his mother neglected his claim. However, when the Department of Children’s Services and the police investigated the allegations, there was no evidence the crime ever happened. Meanwhile, many people believe Zachary largely committed the monstrous act of killing his mother because he was mentally sick.
His Trial, and Conviction
For first-degree murder, he was given a life sentence without parole. The teen was also accused of setting fire to his home while his older brother was asleep and was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated arson. Judge Dee David Gay of Sumner County sentenced the adolescent to 20 years in prison for each of these crimes. Each charge carries a 15–25 year sentence. Gay decreed that these punishments’ terms should be carried out concurrently or simultaneously. However, the judge determined that these conditions should be applied either concurrently with or following the life sentence. Tennessee has a 60-year life sentence with a 51-year parole eligibility window.
Surprisingly, Zachary acknowledged killing his mother and leaving his brother to suffer in his handwritten confession to the crime, but he wasn’t sorry for what he had done. According to him, he did not want his mother to suffer, thus his only regret was not giving her a quicker death.