MAYS LANDING — An Atlantic County Superior Court judge reduced the bail Tuesday for Daquan Davis, the 19-year-old Atlantic City man accused of shaking a baby to death last month.
Davis allegedly shook 6-month-old Yusuf E'Miy Stewart-Ali Jr. multiple times while the infant was in his care inside his girlfriend’s Schoolhouse Apartments residence in Atlantic City overnight Sept. 13. When the mother, Ebony Stewart, returned home at about 3:45 a.m. Sept. 14, she found the boy unresponsive and called 911. Yusuf was pronounced dead a short time later.
Davis’ bail was originally set at $750,000 cash only. In a Tuesday morning hearing, Judge Kyran Connor lowered that to $500,000 cash or bond.
In the hearing, Joseph Levin, Davis’ attorney, said that his client’s ties to the community mitigate a flight risk, but Pam D’Arcy, chief assistant prosecutor, said that the severity of the crime and an admission by Davis to investigators that he took the baby in his arms and shook it “like a basketball” should be taken into account when setting bail.
Many of Davis’ family and friends attended the hearing Tuesday, which Levin noted as a sign of Davis’ ties.
“He’s been here his entire life,” he said. “He has nowhere else to go.”
Levin also said Davis has never failed to attend a court hearing despite a number of juvenile arrests, suggesting it would be appropriate to place Davis under house arrest with a GPS tracking device.
D’Arcy said Davis’ extensive record — including arrests on charges of robbery, burglary and fighting — show his “propensity for violence.”
In addition to lowering the bail, Connor also removed the cash-only clause. A requirement that Davis have no direct or indirect contact with the victim’s family remains in place.
Davis, who graduated from Atlantic City High School in June, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. Although authorities identified him as Daquan Davis, Stewart said her boyfriend’s name is Da’Quon Callaway. He is not the baby’s father.
Family members who attended Tuesday’s hearing declined to comment.
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