Controlled By The She-Devil
Devon Meeks, born April 17, 1989 in Texas was the 2 of 3 children born to Lance “Skip” and Yvonne Meeks. Devan attended schools in Sabine Pass, Texas where he graduated in 2007.
The marriage between Devon’s parents was volatile at times – with Skip being abusive to Yvonne. Skip was, by his own admission “hot headed, easy to anger and gonna have my say”. Skip had his own runs in with the law during his younger years– DWI, theft, to name a few things. None of these he is proud to admit, but he owns up to what his past is.
Devan was raised around his maternal grandparents and family after the divorce – visiting his father only when his mother would approve. After graduation, Devan moved to Oklahoma to be with his dad. Lance put him to work building houses with him.
Skip moved to Muskogee, Oklahoma where he met, fell in love and moved in with Tammy White. Tammy had three children living at home. She worked, kept a good house and was/is, by all appearances a good mother. Skip has a good job, works hard and seems to have settled into a world that he is comfortable in. With Devan under Lance’s roof, life felt good.
November, 2007, work had gotten slow in the house building industry in Muskogee. Devan had a hankering to come back to Texas. Devan gave his dad an empty promise of coming back to Muskogee to work with him, when things picked up. Skip later said, “I knew when he left he wouldn’t come back to work with me nor be back up here for a long time. I knew he wouldn’t be back.”
Devan had a girlfriend, Savanah Copeland. Savanah was less than three years Devan’s Senior. Savanah was smitten with Devan. He was her first love and she thought the love would last forever. And, as all young loves Devan had to get back to her. Devan talked with Savanah frequently during their separation while he was in Oklahoma. Savanah, said, “ honestly, I can’t tell you why we broke up. I don’t know to this day. And, Devan says he don’t know.”
MELINA NICOLE PERRY
Early part of March, 2008, Devan later met Melina Nicole Perry through a mutual friend, John Speers. Speers and his father were well known by local law enforcement in Sabine Pass, Texas. The Elder Speers being accused of raping boys.
A young 16 year old, still in puberty stages, with naturally blondish-brown colored hair, fair skin and of medium frame. One could not help but note the stricking resemblance of Melina to Savanah if they were put side by side.
Melina had been in and out of problems since her dad had died. She had not been able to get her feet on the ground, her world was crashing in all around her as if she were on a Merry-Go-Round and couldn’t get off. She grasped for stability in anyone and everyone – many times to the wrong one.
She’d been “raped by her mother’s boyfriend. When Melina told what had happened to show Melina how much Melina was loved, the mother married the man who had raped Melina and had become her stepfather. “Cheryl Leike said during her closing statement.
Melina moved in with her grandmother, Ola Clement after the second marriage of her mother, who by all signs and problems, couldn’t handle the young lady. Melina had problems in school. She was kicked out of schools for fighting, for cursing, for disruptions and various other things. No amount of counseling could help her. She was even so bad, that she was kicked out of Boot Camp. No amount of loving her, could calm her. She had become as wild as a West Texas wind in the middle of a sand storm. Melina was hell bent on having her way.
A friend of her father’s, David Roy Davis, offered to take the girl in. The grandmother thought that having a firm hand and a father figure in Melina’s life would be a good idea. Melina moved to Winnie, Texas to a small white wood frame house with an attached 2-car carport. Cement sidewalk and steps led to the front door.
He couldn’t handle her either. According to the neighbors, screaming fights could be heard as well as lots of slamming doors through out the time Melina lived there. After her arrest, Melina told that Davis had molested her on many occasions.
As everything that Melina may have touched, Devon’s life was no longer his own and forever more would never be, as Melina brought trouble for them both.
By the end of March, Melina was texting Savanah with threats of “cutting the baby out of you” and other forms of threats. Savanah tried to file a complaint with Chambers County. “I was only 17 years old and didn’t know how to file a report but I didn’t have no one to take me there so I thought I had to go there and I didn’t know that I could go to my local police department because she was there.”
Davis didn’t like the idea that Melina was dating Devon. Devon was unemployed, smoked, drank, and was having sex with Melina. Davis would smoke pot with both Melina and Devon. The booze was in the fridge. There were pleasant days for them all to be around together, then there were some very turbulent days – with cussing and threats and fighting back and forth.
Melina wasn’t about to let anyone stand between her and what she wanted – her life with Devan.
Saturday July 5, 2008
Terry Taylor, a friend of David Davis, was going to the store around 9pm. Taylor saw Davis walking. Terry offered to give Davis a ride, which Taylor had done in the past. When Taylor and Davis were driving the two approached a white male and Melina.
Davis asked Taylor to “pull over, I want to tell that man that he is not allowed on my property.”
Terry told Davis, “No, I don’t want any trouble.”
When Taylor left Davis at Davis’ house, Davis had gotten a lawn chair and was sitting under the carport waiting for the Melina and her friend, Devan Meeks to make it to the house.
Melina and Davis got into a shouting argument, which could be heard around 11:00pm by a neighbor of Mr. Davis’. Mr. Davis went to Kenneth Allen’s home about 11:10pm and asked to use the phone. Davis needed to call the police he had been assaulted. After placing the call, Allen asked Davis if Davis wanted Allen to walk back to the Davis residence with him. Davis said, “Yes.”
On their walk back to the Davis house, Mr. Davis told Kenneth Allen that he had been dropped off at his house. When Melina and her boyfriend got there, Davis went inside to talk to Melina, during which time her boyfriend, Devan Meeks, got inside Mr. Davis’ car.
Davis came outside to see Meeks in the car and Davis grabbed Meeks by the throat to pull Meeks out of the car. Davis let Meeks go after Meeks was out of the car. Once Davis had turned his back, Meeks jumped Davis. Davis got away, but Meeks allegedly jumped Davis again near the driveway.
Davis told Allen, “He let me go and they left. The girl was on foot and the boy on a bicycle.”
Shortly before the law arrived, Allen went back home. Officer Sulas arrived about 11:55pm. Upon arriving, Officer Sulas realized Mr. Davis was intoxicated. Officer Sulas asked Mr. Davis had he been drinking. Mr. Davis stated, “No.” Davis’ verbiage was slurred, he wouldn’t stay on the subject at hand. Davis began talking about a neighborhood girl on a bicycle and the about some of his friends that got arrested at a bar. Davis appeared to be hallucinating.
Mr. Davis wanted to file a report. Officer Sulas didn’t record the statement, but had full intentions of coming back later that day to take a statement from Davis.
July 6, 2008
Danya Rothenberger and her friend Lauren Thibodeaux were delivering newspapers when Ms. Rothenberger noticed smoke coming from the Davis residence on Rose Street. Ms Rothenberger knocked on the door, With no answer, she opened the door. She would later testify that something was behind the door. She thought it was a human foot and about the time she opened the door flames flared up. Ms. Rothenberger immediately called 9-1-1.
About the same time, Mr. Davis’ neighbor, Billy King, saw the two ladies and the smoke coming from the house. He rushed to assist them. Bill later testifies, “he saw blood around the porch” when he got the water hose and was trying to put out the fire until the fire department could get there.
Deputy Stybos, of Chambers County Sheriff’s Department, was on the scene of the fire and of the dead body of David Davis.
Ms. Ola Clement, grandmother of Melina arrived on the scene stating someone had text Ms. Clement’s phone from Melina’s stating “don’t worry ur Grandaughter is dead just like david and t rays next I didn’t mean 4 her to get involved but she got in the way so shes dead she was there and got in the way I set the house on fire Mena “&” devan”.
The crime scene investigators found damage to the furniture, walls, flooring and contents from the smoke and heat of the fire. Davis was observed body face down with what appeared to be burns all over the body. There were two puncture wounds to the head area. There was blood surrounding the body on the floor. The living room seemed to have been the subject of most of the fire damage and the kitchen and other rooms had smoke and heat damage.
Crime scene investigators’ tape went up. Investigators began investigating this as a crime scene, a homicide, not just a simple fire. After the investigators had done their job, Judge DeVillier of Chambers County advised that the body could be removed. David Davis was pronounced dead.
When Davis’ body was rolled over there were apparent two additional puncture wounds to the upper chest area, one puncture wound to the side of the body and several cuts across the neck area of the body. Once the body was removed, Judge DeVillier ordered an autopsy to be conducted.
A broken blade would later be found inside of Davis’ head by Dr. Tommy Brown, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy.
It is not clear as to what exactly took place within the house prior to the fire. We do know by witness testimony that a friend had taken Devan and Melina to Sabine Pass earlier that morning to get Devan’s Uncle’s truck. No eyewitness can put either of them back at the scene – after that – except through their own admissions.
Devan and Melina came back to the house. Witnesses state that Devan had five gallon gasoline containers with him – but they weren’t full.
Yvonne Meeks advised the law that her son, Devan had called the evening before asking what time she would be getting home from work.
“Late,” she said, as she worked at a bar in Sabine Pass.
When she got home, certain things of Devan’s were gone from his room. And, her brother, Buck’s truck was missing. Yvonne told the officers that Devan was close to his father, Skip, who lived in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Early on Sunday morning Skip Meeks and his girlfriend Tammy White received a call from Devan asking how to get to Muskogee.
“Where are you?” Skip asked.
“I’m in Jasper.” Devan replied.
“Just stay on 69 and it will bring you all the way in.” Skip directed.
Skip, Tammy and the kids had gone to a birthday party later that day. Upon their return, a familiar truck was there. Buck’s. his ex-brother-in-law. The truck was pulled up into the yard some.
Neither Skip nor Tammy had ever met Melina or as she liked to be called “Mena”. Skip didn’t like the idea of Devan bringing a girl to his house that he wasn’t married to or who Skip did not know.
Skip told Devan there would be work for him the next day on the job. Devan asked if he could have the day off and start the next day. They both agreed that Devan would have to work. Tammy also offered to get Melina a job.
“I can’t go to work because I’m suppose to be dead.” Melina told her.
“What do you mean you are suppose to be dead?” Tammy asked startled.
“I had to get her out of Texas” Devan stated.
“I was suppose to have been burned up in a house. My daddy is dead, my mama kicked me out, I got put in a boot camp and got kicked out of it, I’m not allowed in any public schools. The only person who cared about me was my grandma and she wouldn’t keep me” Melina stated without shedding a tear.
Sip asked, “How did ya’ll get down here.”
“I get a social security check for when my daddy died.” she said.
“They would have to have someway to identify you someway.” Tammy said.
“No” Melina shook her head.
While Tammy went to get pizza, the two went to the truck. They talked, in private. Everyone ate on the back porch, but Tammy testified “they would stay off to themselves, talking by themselves.”
When Devan and Melina had gone to sleep on the couch, Skip got the keys to the truck and took it to a niece’s house. Tammy followed him in their car to bring him back. “We didn’t want them leaving.” Skip later said.
After Skip left for work, Devan and Melina were awake and still on the couch. “Okay, I want to know what is going on. Something isn’t right” Tammy questioned.
Devan opened up and began. “I don’t think she wants me to tell you in front of her. “ Melina laid down and faced the back of the couch and pulled a blanket up over her head.
Devan said, “Me and David got into a fight over a car. I had gone back over there to David’s house and David and I started fighting. David had some big scissors that you cut bushes with, but it only had one blade. David was trying to stab me with it. Mena picked something up and hit David in the head. He fell down and she grabbed the blade and started stabbing him. She went outside and got the gasoline for the car and poured it on the furniture and set it on fire and we took off.”
“Did anyone see you do this?” Tammy asked
“No I don’t think so it was about 3:00 o’clock in the morning.” Devan said. Tammy glanced over at Melina who was steadily shaking her head in the affirmative.
Devan said, “Let me tell dad.”
“Are you telling me you killed somebody ?” Tammy asked.
“I didn’t do it, she did.” He muttered.
Tammy left for work, or tried to work. All she could think about was there is a murderer next door to my job in my house with my kids. She phoned Skip, “you’ve gotta come home.”
“I’m already on the way, I just got a call for Shaya” said Skip.
Skip walked through the house, he couldn’t find Devan. Melina was sitting on the bed, “You aren’t running.” Skip told her.
Tammy asked Melina, “don’t you have any regrets?”
With cold-blooded eyes, her dyed black hair stone cold face she spewed, “The mother-fucker got what he deserved.”
After a few moments Melina said, “I told Devan we should’ve gone to Florida, my family wouldn’t have called the cops.”
Devan had come back from his friend’s house Skip met him out in the back yard. They hugged. “Son, you know I’ve got to call the police.” Devan nodded his head.
Tammy asked Devan, “do you have any regrets?”
“Yes,” he replied, “I’m sorry everything happened and sorry I hurt my grandpa.”
“My son is NOT going down for what you did” Skip shouted at Melina.
With cold eyes, no expression, not even of fear, Melina stared back without saying a word.
Standing in the kitchen of his home, looking out the window as he phoned the Muskogee County Sheriff’s office, Skip noticed Melina coming out of the garage area. He thought it strange at the time, considering nothing in there belonged to her, but disregarded the thought at that time, as there were more important issues at hand. “I wanted to turn my son in because I figured the local cops would have killed him. I would rather him be alive than dead. These cops up here are corrupt.”
After getting off the phone with the Sheriff’s office, Skip nor Tammy could find Melina and Devan. They had bolted. Both got in their vehicles and drove around for about ten minutes. Only, to come home to wait for the police to arrive.
Melina and Devan were found a short time later walking back from Walmart by Muskogee Police Department. Lance Meeks, at the request of Texas Ranger Joe Haralson, handed over the keys to the truck belonging to Devan’s uncle, Devan and Melina’s clothing to Officer Martin of Muskogee Police Department.
Devan was now under arrest for the murder of David Davis.
“Keep quiet babe, for me, keep quiet” Devan said as the two were separated at the police station.
Devan Meeks was taken from the Muskogee County jail to the Muskogee County Court House to Judge Adair’s courtroom. Meeks signed the extradition order which would bring him back to Texas. After signing the extradition paperwork, Meeks was taken back to the Muskogee jail where he was then photographed by Texas Rangers.
The supporting arrest warrant for Devan Curtis Meeks was filed by Captain John Mulryan on July 11, 2008. It reads in part:
“On July 6, 2008, ….. I personally spoke with the Winnie Voluntary Fire chief Leonard Bettis, who stated he responded to a 911 house fire call at 1329 Rose Street and upon entry to the residence, he discovered a body laying face down in the living room which appeared to be deceased. … After the body was ordered to be moved, I observed what appeared to be two wounds to the upper chest area…. The body was identified as David Roy Davis, a white male. At the time of the contact… David Davis had an altercation with Devan Meeks, but prior to Officer Sulas’ arrival. …. Due to the juvenile (Melina Perry) female a broadcast through TCIC/NCIC was placed for missing and endangerment due to not knowing the safety and well being of the juvenile female. Information was obtained that Devan Meeks had family in Muskogee, Oklahoma. ….On July 7, 2008 an autopsy was conducted on David Davis by Dr. Brown of the Jefferson County Medical examiner’s Office. During the autopsy, a knife blade was located and removed from the body of David Davis. The knife blade was serrated and appeared to be the type commonly used in a kitchen…Later this same day, information was received that the Muskogee PD had located the grey truck along with Meeks and Perry. The truck was impounded, Devan Meeks was placed in custody for the warrant of UUUMV from Port Arthur and the juvenile female was placed in juvenile custody as a reported runaway from Chambers County….. On July 8, 2008 Texas Rangers Joe Haralson and Grover Huff …. Ranger Haralson interviewed Devan Meeks. Devan stated that David Davis was stabbed to death and all this occurred while he (Meeks) was outside the residence in an attempt to jump start a vehicle that was parked outside… July 9, 2008, Texas Ranger Grover Huff processed the grey truck. July 10, 2008, a hearing with the Muskogee County Juvenile Magistrate took place and juvenile female Perry voluntarily waived her rights and signed extradition to be returned to Chambers County. An interview in Jefferson County jail Devan Meeks stated that he and David Davis got into a physical confrontation and that David Davis was swinging a broken portion of a lop shears toward him and that he picked up a shovel handle and blocked the shears from striking him. Devan Meeks stated that Perry began to stab David Davis with a knife. After Davis fell inside the residence, Devan Meeks states that Perry grabbed a pink handle steak knife and began to stabe David Davis until the handle broke off from the knife blade. …Perry picked up the lop shears and struck David Davis in the head. Meeks satted as he walked thru the blood on the floor which left foot impressions on the bed sheet and in the bathroom area. Meeks stated that he then went outside and attempted to start the car……”
Warrant of Arrest file No. 138150 issued 7-11-08 by Judge Chap Cain.
While Texas was busy carrying on their judicial duties, Tammy and Skip found a purse in their garage that belonged to Melina Perry. It was identified as Melina’s because of a letter which was found inside of it, dated July 1, 2008, later identified by a handwriting expert to be written by Melina Perry.
“Can I live wit this for the rest of my life?? Is Devan the only one who knows about it always toing to stick wit me and be wit me for ever? Should I have told him?? Can I just slit his throat and walk away?? YES to all of these. Honestly, I’m a cold hearted person. I think that I really can just walk up to him slit his throat watch him bleed to death turn around and walk out of the house & run to my baby’s arms & yea I’ll probably cry about it 4 a lil while but hey life goes on. He deserves to die. Devan doesn’t know a lot of the stuff that went on. David is a horrible person & he is trying to ruin everything I have going 4 me & Devan. He is trying to put sat RAPE charges on the person I want to spend 4 ever wit. All because I fucked up yesterday. I amost lost what means the most to me all because I actually thought TOBY had really changed & did (drawn heart here) me. Ha ha that’s funny! I know I’m stupid & retarded ignorant call me whatever but after me & Devan had that fight & we broke up & he called me later on as soon as I heard his voice I knew I had fucked up. But my daddy always said Let go of someth you love & if it comes back it’s true love. Well, Devan came back and captured my heart again. (Writeen in margin) So it’s true love. He saved my life basically and that’s ho I repay him by hurting him. NO I owe him my love forever cuz if it wasn’t for him, who knows, I’d probably be dead, seriously. So YES I do trust him & think he will love me 4 ever & keep my secret. So either tonight while he is sitting in his chair or tonight in his bed I will close his eyes 4 him 4 ever. RIP David Davis. And in a way I’m helping him out. He’ll be out of this SHIT hole we call an earth. David Davis is a walking dead man. 753 P.M. Tuesday July 1, 2008. And this better not fuck up my 4th of July weekend either.”
Melina, who had been advised by Ruth Boles (Jefferson County School Resource Officer who had befriended Melina and Melina had been in contact with during this) not to give any statements. For the first time, probably in her entire life, Melina did as an adult told her. Prior to Devan Meeks’ trial, both he and Melina were given polygraphs. Melina passed her polygraph.
As her “reward” District Attorney Cheryl Leike offered Melina Perry a lesser charge of non-aggravated manslaughter, and they would drop the arson and tampering of evidence against her.
Melina Perry took the offer. During Devon’s trial, even after taking her plea, she plead the 5th and would not testify. In doing so, without her testimony, the defense only had two witnesses to call – Lance Meeks and Tammy White. Savanah Copeland’s testimony, the defense’s third witness would not be allowed to testify.
A jury of eleven men and one woman with two men alternates listened intently to the testimony. On Thursday, August 19, 2010, a little over two years after the murder of David Davis, Devan Curtis Meeks was found guilty of Aggravated Murder in less than two hours.
The sentencing phase for both Devan Meeks and Melina Perry is slated for October 7, 2010. Mr. Meeks is looking at 5-99 years, while Ms. Perry is looking at 2-20 years or even probation.
Is justice really fair?