THE INVESTIGATORS: Even after judge’s ruling, woman still waiting on refund for son’s headstone
ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Nearly a year after a judge ordered a man to refund Claudette Davis the almost $4,500 she paid him for a headstone for her son’s grave, the man has still not paid up and her son’s grave remains without a headstone.
Inside his room at their home in Ascension Parish, everything is just the way Christopher Davis left things almost two years after his death. His mother said she just cannot bring herself to change a thing about her son’s room. From pictures and tributes to the mail that’s still pouring in, everything remains in place.
“I usually keep it on the bed,” said Davis. “Every college, everything...I keep it.”
Letters from colleges and branches of the military can be found in the dresser drawer near his bed. All the promises of her son’s future and his plans to be an engineer will now never be. His life ended in March 2021 when he got into an ATV accident. The 16-year-old would have been a senior this year at East Ascension High School, and his mother says he was a friend to everyone.
”That’s why I’m fighting trying to do all I can to give him what he deserves because he don’t deserve this what is going on with him right now,” said Davis.
As if dealing with his loss is not bad enough, his mother says she has been hit with another problem. An invoice she gave to the 9News Investigators shows where she says she paid nearly $4,500 to Arthur Williams with W. S. Monument for a headstone, but she says she never got what she paid for.
”After so many months passed and I never received the headstone, I went on and I filed charges and I went to court,” said Davis.
She went to court in Houma and, according to court records, a judge ruled in her favor ordering Williams to pay her back. The judge chose to leave the company out of that ruling which means it’s up to Williams alone to come up with the cash.
Davis says she has not seen a dime of her money.
”This been since last year, and I haven’t collected not one dollar from Arthur Williams in reference to the headstone, and they told me that he was not working and when he gets a job he would pay me. Well, that never happened and almost a year and I haven’t received anything, and I don’t have $4,500 as a single parent just to lose like that,” said Davis.
At this point, Davis has no idea if or when she will actually get the money and the longer she waits, the longer her son’s final resting place goes without a headstone.
”It’s not fair at all because my son has been deceased a whole year. March next year will be two whole years and he’s still without a headstone. I thought once I got that ruling I would get my money and it would be all said and done and my son would have a headstone by now. I had no idea it would take this long,” said Davis.
WAFB’s Scottie Hunter reached out to the company but the number did not work. WAFB was able to get in touch with Williams by phone.
Williams said he has about $1,000 to pay Davis right away, but he claims between Hurricane Ida and being without a job at some point during the last year, he has not been able to get it to her.
”It’s just been hard and rough for me the last year, losing my son and then someone coming and taking advantage of me in my time of bereavement,” said Davis.
Davis said until her son gets that headstone, he cannot fully rest, and with his birthday coming up on November 5, she can’t think of a better gift than getting her son what he deserves.
”Oh, I would be more than grateful,” said Davis. “It would be exciting. It would be a great birthday for him. It would be a celebration for him and for me.”
Williams told WAFB he is working on a payment plan to try and get Davis the money.
Claudette Davis’s family came together to surprise her with a headstone for her son’s grave. Last year, a judge ordered Arthur Williams to pay her back the nearly $4,500 she paid for a headstone. That headstone was never delivered. The mother says she is excited to have a headstone while waiting on Williams to pay up.
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