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An Idaho man stabbed his mother to death. He’ll spend decades in prison, judge decides

During a sentencing hearing Friday, Levi Davis listens to testimony and evidence that was presented during his murder trial at the Canyon County Courthouse in Caldwell. | Darin Oswald, Idaho Statesman
MIDDLETON (Idaho Statesman) — The “entire world” of Karly Cantrell’s family “flipped upside down” when she was killed in her Middleton home over a year ago.
Since Cantrell’s death, one of her sons graduated from high school and another had his 16th birthday. Her granddaughter competed in gymnastics competitions. Her family has celebrated two Thanksgivings and two Christmases.
All without her.
That’s what Canyon County Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Morse told the courtroom Friday afternoon before the sentencing of Levi Isaac Davis — Cantrell’s eldest son — who stabbed his mom to death in in October 2022.
Cantrell was the executive director of the West Valley Humane Society, and was remembered by staff as the “heart and soul” of the organization and a “fierce advocate for both animals and people in need,” according to a prior post by the organization.

Karly Cantrell, executive director of the West Valley Humane Society in Caldwell, was killed Monday, Oct. 10, 2022. | West Valley Humane Society
“This is just a representation of the lifetime loss that this family will have to suffer,” Morse said in court.
Davis could have faced up to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Idaho law, and that’s the sentence the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office asked Whiting to impose. The defense asked for a 30-year sentence with the chance for parole after 15 years, saying Davis was a human being, too, with family members who didn’t want him to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
“This horrendous act — I don’t want this to define Levi as a monster,” said Melanie Davis, his grandmother and Cantrell’s mom.
The defense argued that Davis did not intend to kill his mother, but when he went to her home, she “became enraged” and lunged at him with a knife, which caused Davis to black out and attack Cantrell. Whiting cast doubt on that story and said Davis likely went to the home with the intent to harm his mother.
“I’m not the monster that you think I am,” Davis said in court, calling the attack an “accident.”
When Kevin Kline got to his Middleton home that October afternoon, he had no idea what had happened.
“I just came home from my work and I think my wife’s dead,” Kline said in a 911 call played in court Friday.
On the minutes-long call, Kline described finding Cantrell’s cold body in his living room and said he saw blood all over her body and on the back door, with bloody footprints on the floor. When Mark Taylor, who worked for the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, arrived at the house, it was the “most horrific case” he’d ever seen, he said in court.
Joseph Kronz, the pathologist who performed Cantrell’s autopsy, testified that she suffered several wounds to her chest, including to her heart and lungs. Kronz said Cantrell also had deep lacerations on her neck and defensive wounds on her hands.
“She didn’t go down without a fight,” Taylor said in court, adding that Davis likely received a 3-inch wound to his hand while she was fighting back.
Davis had been living in the house until just a few months before the murder. Kline, his stepfather, said during a prior hearing that Davis was excluded from the home in early August 2022 after he pushed Cantrell when she asked him not to smoke in the front of the house.
“We kicked him out,” Kline said.
Kline called it “the last straw” and said Davis had been “destroying things and getting angry” while living there.
The post An Idaho man stabbed his mother to death. He’ll spend decades in prison, judge decides appeared first on East Idaho News.

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