Hindering prosecution charge in Sterrett homicide

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Authorities have made an arrest in relation to the case of the Sterrett woman who was found dead Tuesday in St. Clair County.

Kayce Allyn Johnson faces charges of hindering prosecution in the homicide investigation of Diana Donahoo Rice.

Johnson was arrested Wednesday. She is currently in the Shelby County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Johnson was either a current or past girlfriend of Randy O’Neal Davidson, who is being called a person of interest in the case, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Ken Burchfield said more details about Johnson involvement and the case would be released Thursday morning. No additional charges are expected to be filed against Johnson, Burchfield said

Rice, 62, was found dead Tuesday morning off Camp Winnataska Road in St. Clair County. She was last seen Friday leaving a house off Highway 55 in Sterrett, where she was a live-in caretaker for an elderly man.

The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences is performing an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Davidson, 38, of Sterrett was named a person of interest in the case Tuesday. He was arrested Monday in Jefferson County at a truck stop off Interstate 65 in North Birmingham.

He was apprehended as he approached Rice’s missing car, a white 2003 Ford Taurus.

He is being held on $200,000 bond at the Shelby County Jail on unrelated charges of burglary and theft of property. As of Wednesday night, no charges have been brought against Davidson in relation’s to Rice’s disappearance or death.

Davidson is also expected to face charges of assault, burglary, attempted rape and animal cruelty in Jefferson County. On Monday, Davidson allegedly broke into a Jefferson County home brandishing a machete knife, strangled a kitten in front of children and tried to sexually assault a 27-year-old woman, authorities say.