Crime & Courts

How GoFundMe account didn’t go to help Haysville burn victim. Jury convicts woman.

Gavel illustration
Gavel illustration The Wichita Eagle

The GoFundMe donations were supposed to go to a 10-year-old burn victim in Haysville.

Instead, evidence showed, thieves used the money to pay their own bills and make their own purchases.

A jury on Thursday convicted a Haysville woman of stealing GoFundMe donations for the young burn victim, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office said.

A jury found Cinthia Davis, 34, guilty of felony theft.

Evidence at the three-day trial showed that Davis set up a GoFundMe account to gather money for the 10-year-old, who was burned in 2015, the office said. In less than a month, 124 people donated $8,145.

A Haysville police investigator testified that all the money was withdrawn from the account and spent over 60 days, the office said.

“The mother of the injured girl testified that the family only received a few hundred dollars of the donations,” the office said in a statement.

What did Davis or her husband spend the money on?

According to testimony, it was for cash withdrawals, to pay water and gas bills and for purchases at Walmart and Kmart, restaurants and a pawnshop.

Davis’ husband, Martin Joe Kerr — also charged with felony theft — pleaded guilty to his role in the crime. He was sentenced to probation last year, the office said.

Davis’ sentencing is scheduled for March 12.

Tim Potter has covered crime and safety for The Eagle for more than 20 years. His focus is the story behind the story and government accountability. He can be reached at 316-268-6684.