DALLAS COUNTY, Mo. A Springfield man charged with murder for beating a toddler to death last year was finally formally arraigned in court Tuesday.
Robert Davis made for his first appearance in a Dallas County Courtroom. He faces a second degree murder charge for killing 2 year-old Kinzlea Kilgore.
Davis has been sitting in a cell, without bail, in Greene County for nearly a year. He was arrested after police say he brutally beat his own 8 year-old daughter a few weeks after Kilgore died.
The child's family said that Davis isn't the only person responsible for her death. They said the system also failed her.
Kilgore's step-grandfather, Justin Gideon, said, "Knowing that our case if finally being heard, it's a big deal to us. There's going to be a lot harder days than today."
Kilgore died in May of 2018. The autopsy report says her head was beaten so badly she was hardly recognizable. Several months after her death Davis was charged with second-degree murder.
"We want the people responsible to face the consequences of their actions," said Gideon.
He said at least a dozen calls were made to the Department of Family services about concerns for the child's safety.
"We need answers from the state," said Gideon.
Gideon said the family also wants Kilgore's mother, Sierra Barrett to be held accountable.
"Making that choice to leave Kinzlea with Mr. Davis is ultimately willful neglect," he said.
Kilgore's family said a newly elected prosecutor is helping them on their path towards healing.
"It's comforting now because it's something you want out of the justice system especially as the family of the victim. You don't want to be shut out. You want to have someone who's willing to communicate with you openly and tell you the steps of what's going on," said Gideon.
Kilgore's family is also drawing strength from strangers.
"We know that there's a community that supports us. It's always good to get the prayers and the well wishes. I wouldn't wish anyone to go through it ever. This is something you're not supposed to experience. You're not supposed to see a two year-old leave this world before you," said Gideon.
Davis will in the Greene County Jail without bail. His felony abuse case will be back in front of a judge in July. The murder case in Dallas County will be in court again in August.
The investigation into Sierra Barrett's role in her child's death is ongoing.