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          Mentally Ill or Monster? Teen Convicted of Murdering Mom with a Sledgehammer Speaks

          May 22, 2015

          In an exclusive jailhouse interview, Dr. Phil sits down with Zachary Davis, who was convicted of murder for brutally bludgeoning his mother to death with a sledgehammer in August 2012, just two weeks after his 15th birthday. A jury also found Davis guilty of attempted murder and aggravated arson for setting the house on fire that night while his older brother was sleeping. Davis, who has been sentenced to life in prison, reveals disturbing details of that night to Dr. Phil. What does he claim drove him to do such a thing? Does he have any remorse?

          What does Dr. Phil think? Is Davis a cold-blooded monster and murderer, or is he a mentally ill teen in need of help?

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          Sledgehammer Murder

          On the night of Aug. 10, 2012, 15-year-old Zachary Davis went into the bedroom of his 46-year-old mother, Melanie, and bludgeoned her to death with a sledgehammer while she slept. Police say he then set the house on fire in an attempt to kill his older brother, who was asleep inside. Davis fled the scene and was arrested several hours later.

          Davis’ defense attorney says four mental health experts evaluated the teen, and none of them could agree on his mental state or a diagnosis. Davis was deemed mentally competent to stand trial and was eventually convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

          Davis’ attorney says he is now concerned the teen will get lost in the adult criminal justice system with no rehabilitation, medication or counseling.

          Davis, 17, sits down with Dr. Phil for an exclusive prison interview — parts of which are deeply disturbing.

          “Why did you kill her?”

          “Did you laugh when you were hitting her?”

          Davis alleges that his brother molested him on one occasion after their father died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2007 and that his mother didn’t believe him, which made him angry. Not only does Davis’ brother vehemently deny ever sexually abusing his brother, but law enforcement reached the same conclusion.

          A guardian ad litem for Davis’ brother, referred to as “Mr. Davis,” has provided the following statement:

          Mr. Davis denies any of the allegations of sexual assault made by his brother. Child Protective Services investigated it, and Mr. Davis was never charged, and there was never a finding by CPS.

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