Verdict a relief for family

Date: 2001-04-21

Verdict a relief for family

Denver Rocky Mountain News/April 21, 2001

By Michele Ames and Peggy Lowe

By any measure, it has been a long road. Mary and David Davis made the more-than-1,500-mile trip from their North Carolina home and sat through a week of an emotional trial to watch two Evergreen therapists judged guilty in the death of the couple's biological granddaughter, Candace. They proclaimed Friday's verdict justice.

"Candace had no say in this. She tried to talk, and they didn't listen," said David Davis. "Now she's had her say."

The couple, visibly relieved, left the courtroom quickly. They were taken to a room where they could call their daughter -- Candace's biological mother, Angie Elmore -- to tell her of the verdict.

It was a 15-minute phone call filled with tears and relief. Elmore had assembled friends outside her North Carolina trailer home. She relayed the message to them.

"I told her guilty on all counts," Mary Davis said. "And she yelled out the door, 'They're guilty! They're guilty!' I don't know exactly what happened but I heard a cheer go up."

Elmore, who lost Candace and her two siblings about six years ago when county officials removed them from the home, was crying and excited, Mary Davis said.

"She said, 'Maybe I can sleep tonight.' She said she's glad people know Candace didn't deserve to die like that."

The couple lashed out at defense attorneys who tried to paint their daughter as a bad mother. The lawyers had said Candace never bonded with her birth family, causing emotional problems.

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