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Autopsy: Kilah Davenport died of pneumonia, cites complications from attack

Kilah Davenport died in March from injuries sustained in a May 2012 beating.
Kilah Davenport died in March from injuries sustained in a May 2012 beating. 2012 OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

An autopsy completed on a three-year-old girl severely beaten by her step-father in May 2012 shows she died from pneumonia due to health complications from the attack.

WBTV obtained a copy of the Medical Examiner's report into the March 2014 death of Union County girl Kilah Davenport.

Kilah died at Carolinas Medical Center Northeast, in Concord, in March.

Kilah's grandmother, Leslie Davenport, said Kilah was at home with her mother when she took "two funny breaths." Her mother began performing CPR and called 911. They then rushed the young girl to the hospital, but she soon passed away.

She would have turned five in April.

Kilah's stepfather, Joshua Houser, was convicted in February of felonious assault, two weeks before the young girl's death.

A jury found Houser guilty of throwing the little girl into a wall, and leaving her with severe brain damage. He will serve at least eight to ten years behind bars.

The trial lasted 9 days and jurors deliberated for 4 hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Houser has always insisted he didn't do it.

In May, President Barack Obama signed a child abuse legislation, named after Kilah, into law. The legislation was crafted to make sure states across the country are taking child abuse seriously – was signed into law by President Obama Tuesday.

Congressman Robert Pittenger, of North Carolina's Ninth District, filed Kilah's Act in 2013.

The legislation requires the US Attorney General to issue a state-by-state report on child abuse prevention laws within six months, with a particular focus on penalties for cases of severe child abuse.

That report is due to the U.S. Justice Department by November.

The goal, officials say, is to highlight deficient laws and provide states with the opportunity to fix those laws before another tragedy occurs.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, introduced the legislation in the Senate.

WBTV has reached out to the Union County District Attorney to see if additional charges in Kilah's death will be filed.