The main reason I'm posting this is the highlighted portion below. There may have been a fight in the newsroom had I been there yesterday. It would have been my story (on the cops beat), but Paul (the reporter for this story) has been following the Davidson case since the beginning when he was the cops reporter.

Anyway, funny/scary part bolded below.


Murder suspect charged again

Woman arrested on allegations of child endangerment

By PAUL A. ANTHONY, [email protected] or 659-8237
August 23, 2006

San Angelo veterinarian Wendi Mae Davidson - already facing murder and evidence-tampering charges in the January 2005 death of her husband - was arrested last weekend and charged with child endangerment after Buffalo Wild Wings employees told police they found her 4-year-old son alone in the restaurant's parking lot.

Davidson, 28, was arrested early Sunday and posted a $25,000 bond later in the day.

She is also accused of poisoning her husband - Michael Severance, a staff sergeant based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene - with drugs commonly used to euthanize animals, stabbing his body more than 40 times, weighing it with more than 140 pounds of car parts, and dumping it into a Tom Green County stock tank owned by a family friend.

According to police reports, employees at the Sherwood Way grill and sports bar found Tristan Riley Davidson about 12:10 a.m. Sunday riding a miniature Suzuki four-wheeler around the parking lot, crying for his mother.

Police arrived, according to a report filed by Officer Barry Ratcliffe, and used Davidson's answering service to contact the veterinarian, who owns and lives at Advanced Animal Care, across Sherwood Way from the restaurant.

Davidson initially told officers she had left the child sleeping at home while she stopped at Wal-Mart Supercenter for 15 minutes. Other officers, however, said they saw her leaving nearby dance club Graham Central Station, and she admitted that she had gone to the club, according to a complaint filed Monday in Tom Green County Justice Court.It's not clear how long she was there before Tristan was found in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot.

Two of the three doors to the clinic were locked, Ratcliffe said in his report, but the east-side entrance had been left unlocked. Tristan apparently rode the four-wheeler across the five lanes of Sherwood Way traffic to reach Buffalo Wild Wings, the report states.

''Wendi (said) she had made a bad choice,'' the report states, ''and that it would never happen again.''

The complaint, written by San Angelo Police Detective David Olson, contends that ''any reasonable person would believe ... the child was at great risk of imminent danger of death, bodily injury or physical impairment.''

Davidson, through her mother, Judi Davidson, declined Tuesday to comment. Her attorney in the murder case, Fred C. Brigman III, said he will also represent Davidson in the endangerment case but added he doesn't know enough about it yet to comment.

Abandonment or endangerment of a child by placing the child in imminent danger of bodily injury is a felony punishable by as many as 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Police released Tristan into the custody of Davidson's parents, Judi and Robert Davidson, who also are sharing custody of his half-brother, Shane Severance - the 2-year-old boy involved in a bitter custody dispute between the Davidsons and Michael Severance's father, Leslie Severance.

A state district judge in August 2005 granted joint custody to the Davidsons and Severance, and mandated supervised visits between Wendi Davidson and Shane Severance.

In a pair of bitter custody hearings, Severance attorney Tom Goff questioned Davidson's fitness as a mother, adding that authorities believe she might have had her sons with her during the time she is alleged to have disposed of Severance's body.

Leslie Severance, who lives in Lee, Maine, declined to comment Tuesday, saying he didn't know enough about the case.

Davidson was arrested in March 2005 and charged with murder and tampering with evidence in Michael Severance's death. A grand jury two months later indicted her on both charges and added a second tampering charge based on allegations that she tried to destroy records at her clinic.

The murder case, which has been delayed at the request of Davidson's attorneys four times, most recently was set to begin Monday, but a state district judge postponed jury selection until Oct. 16.

In each instance, according to defense motions, Davidson's team needed more time to conduct tests on DNA and other scientific evidence the prosecution plans to present.

The October date might prove firmer than previous attempts, Brigman said - although he said he could file a change-of-venue request if publicity from the endangerment case threatens the ability for Davidson to receive a fair trial in Tom Green County.

''That's when the judge set it,'' Brigman said, ''and he says he's not going to give any more continuances.''