Teenager Pleads Guilty to First Degree Murder of Half-Sister, Faces Trial on Criminal Responsibility Issue
Annapolis, Md. – Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced today that Stephen J. Davis II, 19, of Pasadena, entered a guilty plea to first degree murder in the death of his 5-year-old half-sister, Anayah Jannah Abdul. Davis was 17 years old at the time of the murder and a rising senior at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena, Md.
“Stephen Davis has admitted his guilt in the murder of Anayah, and has elected a trial on the issue of his criminal responsibility for his actions. The NCR trial will take place on April 10, 2023 and the defendant will have the burden of proof in persuading a judge or a jury that at the time of the murder, due to a mental disorder, he lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of the conduct or conform his conduct to the requirements of the law,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.
Assistant State’s Attorney Anastasia Prigge and David Russell prosecuted this case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.
During the guilty plea hearing, prosecutors read the statement of facts into the record which included the following information. On the morning of October 3, 2020, Anne Arundel County Police responded to the 4100 block of Apple Leaf Court in Pasadena after receiving a 911 call from a family member at the address stating that a black Dodge Charger sedan was missing. The family member said that no one had permission to drive it and that Stephen Jarrod Davis II, was also missing.
Upon their arrival, police officers learned that the family member had woken up, checked her phone and saw that at 3 a.m. there was a doorbell camera notification of movement in her front yard. She could see on her doorbell camera that Stephen Davis II, got into the family’s minivan that was parked in the front part of the driveway in front of the garage and moved it to the street. The doorbell camera at a neighbor’s home from across the street then showed the garage door of the family’s home opening and a dark sedan exited the garage, quickly speeding away from the family home.
The residents decided to call police when they discovered a concerning note they believed had been written by the defendant. While the police were on scene, it was discovered that 5-year-old, Anayah Abdul, was deceased in her bed. County police issued a critically missing person alert for the defendant.
Later that day, members of the Anne Arundel County Police Department tracked the defendant’s location to an area on I-70 in Ohio. Ohio State Police and other law enforcement agencies began actively looking for the missing black Dodge Charger sedan. The defendant was located still driving on I-70 in Springfield, Ohio. Ohio State Troopers attempted to pull the defendant over, however, he accelerated and there was a short pursuit of the defendant, whose vehicle reached speeds of 131 miles per hour. Eventually the defendant’s vehicle slowed down and he pulled over to the shoulder of the road where he was taken into custody. The defendant was extradited back to Anne Arundel County and charged with the first degree murder of 5-year-old Anaya Abdul. Additional forensic evidence testing was done in the case, which implicated the defendant in Anayah’s murder.
The Honorable William C. Mulford II presided over the case.