Elbert “Woody” Davis Jr. attacked Osage County Economic
Development Director Stephanie Watson Monday late afternoon, and
within an hour, was dead after his minivan crashed in south Topeka.
Catherine Faimon | Publisher
OSAGE COUNTY — A Topeka man is dead and an Osage County woman
was recovering from serious injuries at Stormont-Vail Regional Health
Center, Topeka, after an assault Monday evening about seven miles
northwest of Lyndon.
to Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn, at 5:09 p.m. Monday, Stephanie
Watson, 41, rural Scranton, drove to the sheriff’s office
in Lyndon with a small caliber gun shot wound to her head and multiple
stab wounds in her upper torso. The sheriff said Watson had been
attacked by an acquaintance who had come to her house for an unknown
reason. The man was later identified as Elbert “Woody”
Davis Jr., 61, Topeka. Watson was home alone at the time of the
attack. She is Osage County Economic Development Director.
Watson fled to the sheriff’s office after escaping, while
Davis was still in her house, at 1331 W. 197th Street. She was transported
by American Medical Response to Stormont-Vail in serious condition.
Tuesday morning, Herald-Chronicle staff spoke with Watson about
the attack; she said Davis had come to her house to pick up a kitten.
Watson was able to provide a vehicle description to sheriff’s
officers and an attempt to locate the vehicle ensued. Incidentally,
an Osage County sheriff’s officer had just pulled Davis over
for unsafe driving near 165th Street along U.S. Highway 75. When
the officer was notified by Dunn that his assistance was needed
at an emergency, he released Davis, not knowing that Davis was the
subject of the emergency, an attempted murder.
Within one minute, that same officer began pursuit of Davis, who
was driving a gold minivan. Davis continued driving north on U.S.
75, as the officer attempted to stop the vehicle. Dunn said the
pursuit began near the Four Corners junction in Osage County and
ended approximately five to seven minutes later, in Shawnee County,
with speeds never going over 70 to 75 mph on the highway.
Osage County and Shawnee County deputies were involved in the pursuit,
which ended when Davis’ minivan hit a concrete pillar at the
49th Street overpass. The minivan caught fire and authorities pulled
Davis, who was by himself, from the vehicle. He died at the scene.
Dunn confirmed that a kitten was found alive in the minivan at the
scene of the crash.
Northbound lanes of U.S. 75 were closed for several hours while
the Kansas Highway Patrol investigated the crash.
“The highway patrol is still investigating the cause of the
car accident, why the car veered off the road,” Dunn said.
“All of that is a big question mark.”
In an online article written by The Topeka Capital-Journal staff,
Davis was identified as a popular local musician, known as “Big
Woody.” He was a musical performer at the 2009 Smoke in the
Spring barbecue event in Osage City, under the name Big Woody Blues
Revue. He promoted his music on a website, www.big-woody.com . According
to Shawnee County District Court records, Davis was divorced from
his wife in July.
As of Tuesday, no weapons had been recovered and Dunn said there
would be no charges filed in the case. Tuesday afternoon, a hospital
spokesperson said Watson had been treated and released from the