Mother charged with murder of baby months after deadly fire

Posted at 5:05 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-30 23:39:08-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two people, including the mother of an 9-month-old, were arrested and charged with murder in connection to a deadly apartment fire.

Metro Nashville Police officers arrested 24-year-old Ryana Davenport and 26-year-old Gevona Smith Monday.

Davenport was charged with the first degree felony murder of her baby girl, Jream Jenkins, who died in the fire. Five other children were injured, including her 2-year-old son, Jerez Broadnex, who continues to be hospitalized at Vanderbilt.

Her friend, Smith, surrendered earlier in the day. Her four children, ages 6, 4, 2 and 1, were in the apartment and were treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire happened in July around 2 a.m. at the Hickory Lake Apartments on Apache Trail in Antioch.

8-month-old killed, 5 children hurt in Antioch apartment fire

The six children were left in Davenport’s apartment alone while she and Smith went to a nightclub in Madison. The youth services investigation also showed there was no evidence that a babysitter was ever present. The women are suspected of medicating the children so that they would sleep while they were away.

According to an arson investigator, the fire started where a candle was burning - the same room the baby was found.

According to the autopsy report, the child died from smoke inhalation. The children were reportedly given melatonin that night. However, testing for melatonin was not able to be conducted.

Smith was charged with murder, four counts of child endangerment, two counts of aggravated child neglect and four counts of child neglect.

Davenport's charges were listed as murder, two counts of aggravated child neglect, four counts of child neglect, and two counts of aggravated child endangerment.

Davenport was taken into custody at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and was jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond. Smith, who surrendered for booking on the indictment Monday morning, was held in lieu of $150,000 bond.

*Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated Jream Jenkins was a male. An earlier tweet from Metro Police identified Jenkins as male. It has been corrected.