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Idaho man charged with murder of mom Karly Cantrell

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Idaho man charged with murder of mom Karly Cantrell


An Idaho man has been charged with murder for allegedly stabbing his mother, a beloved animal-rights activist, to death and leaving her in a pool of blood — after she evicted him from her home for “poor behavior,” officials said.

Levi Isaac Davis, 26, was arrested after his mom, Karly Cantrell, was found dead Monday at her home in Middleton, where she had been stabbed in the neck and abdomen, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Her husband, Kevin Kline, arrived home about 3:30 p.m. and found Davis lying in a pool of blood in the living room, with chunks of her hair and skin missing, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.

Davis — whom Cantrell had kicked out for “poor behavior” — was arrested at 11:15 p.m. at a halfway house in Nampa after a neighbor told cops that a vehicle matching the suspect’s left the scene in the morning, KTVB reported.

Levi Isaac Davis
Levi Isaac Davis, 26, was arrested after his mom, Karly Cantrell, was found dead Monday.
Canyon County Jail

Arresting officers reportedly found blood-stained clothes in Davis’ car and bedroom, as well as various wounds on the suspect, including a deep cut on the thigh and a burn mark on his arm.

Cantrell’s two teenage sons told investigators they last saw their mom at 7:35 a.m. Monday before they left for school, the Statesman said.

One of the boys, a 15-year-old texted Cantrell that he had forgotten a school project, which she said she’d drop off but never did. When he and his 17-year-old brother texted their mom later in the day she never responded.

Meanwhile, an acquaintance of Davis later told cops that the suspect showed up at his house at 9 a.m. that day “with what appeared to be blood on his pants” and asked if he could shower there, according to the affidavit.

Karly Cantrell
Karly Cantrell was found by her husband, dead in a pool of blood.
West Valley Humane Society/Facebook

Davis claimed he had stabbed himself but the man told him to leave, officials said.

After his arrest, Davis told investigators that he woke up at 10:30 a.m. and that no one had used his car, the affidavit states, adding that the son “showed no emotion when talking about the death of his mother.”

He also “pretended to fall asleep” during the police interview, according to the affidavit, KTVB reported.

On Tuesday, Davis was charged with second-degree murder, as well as a parole violation during a virtual arraignment at the Canyon County Courthouse. 

Karly Cantrell
Karly was an animal lover who spent her time working at the West Valley Humane Society.
West Valley Humane Society/Facebook

Cantrell was the executive director of the West Valley Humane Society.

“Karly was the heart and soul of West Valley Humane Society and a fierce advocate for both animals and people in need. She was a kind, compassionate and empathetic friend, mother, wife, grandmother and daughter,” the organization said on Facebook.

“Her impact on the world moves far past the animal shelter and directly into the hearts of the many she took under her wing,” it said. “Under Karly’s leadership, West Valley Humane Society evolved from a standard holding facility for stray animals to a leader and resource in animal welfare.”

Karly Cantrell
The organization shared heartfelt words about the beloved executive director.
West Valley Humane Society/Facebook

The animal-rights group added: “Karly arrived early, stayed late and was always available. Her presence will be deeply missed.

Canyon County Prosecutor Sean Jorgensen called Cantrell’s brutal death “one of the most horrific fact patterns I’ve had to read in my time in this role,” KTVB reported.

Davis could have the murder charge upgraded to first-degree, he said.

His bond was set at $5 million and he is due back in court on Oct. 19.