FAYETTEVILLE -- Christopher Lee Treat pleaded guilty Friday to his role in the brutal torture and beating of a woman in 2015.
Treat helped kill Victoria Annabeth Davis, known as Tori, on Aug. 19, 2015, at Davis' home on Hill Street, according to his plea agreement.
Someone who knowingly, voluntarily, and with common interest, participates in the commission of a crime, and can be charged with the same crime for which the accused will be tried. An accomplice is distinguished from an accessory by usually being present or directly aiding in the crime and may share in the same punishment as the principal criminal.
Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay accepted Treat's plea to a lesser charge of accomplice to first-degree murder and sentenced him to 33 years at the Arkansas Department of Correction. He was given credit for 1,205 days of jail time served. It will be about 23 years before Treat is eligible for parole.
Treat, 32, was originally charged with accomplice to capital murder, which is punishable by either life without parole or the death penalty. Accomplice to first-degree murder is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life.
Police said Davis, 24, was held captive for hours and beaten to death by five people. Davis died of blunt-force trauma. She was raped with a baseball bat and hooked up to a battery charger before she died, according to testimony in a previous trial.
While in jail, Treat picked up several additional charges involving altercations with deputies including two counts of second-degree battery, accomplice to second-degree battery, terroristic threatening and impairing the operation of the Washington County jail. Treat was sentenced to an additional five years on those charges.
Brian Lamb, a deputy prosecutor who filled in at the hearing for Prosecutor Matt Durrett, said prosecutors were pleased with the outcome. Treat will have to spend 70 percent of the sentence from the murder charge before first being eligible for parole.
"I would say it's a reasonable outcome seeing as how he agreed to cooperate and testified against his co-defendant," Lamb said.
Drew Ledbetter, Treat's attorney, said it was a fair outcome, given the circumstances.
"Nobody thinks Chris Treat was the most culpable of this group. Chris is definitely a follower. He has a very low IQ and is easily influenced," Ledbetter said. "If you look at Chris' history, Chris grew up in the foster care system, he's had a rough life. He's very much a product of his environment."
Mark Edward Chumley, 49, was found guilty of accomplice to capital murder in October and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Chris Treat testified against Chumley and told jurors he participated in killing Victoria Davis because Chumley threatened to kill him and his wife if they tried to leave.
Desire Amber Treat, 32, pleaded guilty last week to accomplice to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 33 years at the Arkansas Department of Correction. She was given credit for 1,198 days of jail time served.
John Christopher Davis, 30, who was Tori Davis' husband, pleaded guilty earlier this year to being an accomplice to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 37 years in prison in exchange for his testimony against Chumley.
Davis told jurors Chumley was the first to hit Tori with a bat. He also said Chumley manipulated and threatened him into participating.
Davis said Chumley told him he would kill him if he tried to stop the beating and sent him for a battery charger and connected it to Tori Davis' breasts and plugged it in. Later, Chumley ordered the group to take Tori Davis to a small house on the property and injected her with some substance, Davis said. Tori Davis' body was locked in that house when police arrived.
The remaining defendant is Rebecca Lee Lloyd, 39. She has a court date in January.
NW News on 12/08/2018
Print Headline: Treat pleads guilty to role in woman's murder