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Family: Abusive relationship led to Wilson woman's death

Posted August 17, 2012
Updated August 18, 2012

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— The family of a 23-year-old Wilson woman said Friday night they never approved of her relationship with a man almost twice her age. Donald Ray Davis, 45, of 2405 McNair St., was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend, Courtney Speight, two days after her body was pulled from Contentnea Creek near Wiggins Mill Park.

Speight's aunt, Paula Speight, said the two got together when Courtney was just 19. "This was her first love, her first everything. So she was a little naive.

"I didn't approve of it at all. Nobody did, but she was gone," she said. Paula Speight said after just a few months of dating, Courtney Speight moved in with Davis, his teen daughter and his infant granddaughter.

Family: Woman's death was domestic abuse Family: Woman's death was domestic abuse

"She isolated herself from the family, so that was a first sign of it that he was, to me, of course, abusing her," Paula Speight said.

After four years, relatives said Courtney Speight had decided to leave Davis.

"She called my mom, crying, because she just couldn't take it no more, and she came back," a cousin said. But Davis threatened to kill himself, and Courtney went back to him. That was Sunday, the last time her family saw her alive.

"I want Courtney's life to be an example for other young people or young women or anyone in an abused relationship to get out," said Paula Speight.

Davis was being held without in the Wilson County jail.

"She lost her life because she loved him. She chose to love the wrong person," Paula Speight said.

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