Indiana woman charged with federal hate crime in bus attack

Apr 21, 2023, 6:47 AM

This photo provided by Bloomington Police Department shows Billie Davis. Davis now faces a federal ...

This photo provided by Bloomington Police Department shows Billie Davis. Davis now faces a federal hate crime charge in addition to attempted murder in the stabbing of an Indiana University student of Chinese descent on a public bus. Davis was indicted by a federal grand jury in Evansville Thursday, April 20, 2023 on a charge of willfully causing injuries to the victim due to her race and national origin, the Justice Department said.(Bloomington Police Department via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Bloomington Police Department via AP)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana woman now faces a federal hate crime charge in addition to attempted murder in the stabbing of an Indiana University student of Chinese descent on a public bus.

Billie R. Davis, 56, of Bloomington, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Evansville Thursday on a charge of willfully causing injuries to the victim due to her race and national origin, the Justice Department said.

Davis, who is white, is accused of repeatedly stabbing the 18-year-old woman with a folding knife on Jan. 11 as the victim, from Carmel, Indiana, waited to get off a bus in downtown Bloomington.

Citing court records, WRTV-TV has reported that Davis told police she stabbed the woman multiple times in the head with a folding knife, because it “would be one less person to blow up our country.”

anti-Asian rhetoric linked to fraught relations between the U.S. and China could lead to more violence.

A affidavit from a detective who reviewed bus surveillance footage says the victim was stabbed about seven times in the top of the head, the Indianapolis Star reported.

“Davis then folds the knife, puts it back in her pocket and returns to her seated position on the bus,” the affidavit said.

Surveillance footage showed no interaction between the two women prior to the attack.

A witness who was riding the bus followed the woman’s attacker and contacted police. Davis was later arrested and charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery, according to court records.

She pleaded not guilty in January to those charges.

The Associated Press left an email Friday morning seeking comment from Kyle Dugger, an attorney representing Davis.

Dugger said in a court motion in January that he is seeking an insanity defense on Davis’ behalf and that she “is incapable of assisting in the preparation of her defense because of mental illness.”

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Indiana woman charged with federal hate crime in bus attack