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Baltimore frees a man tried four times for the same murder, which he claims he did not commit


The city dismissed all charges against Keith Davis Jr., who in 2015 was accused of murdering Kevin Jones, a security guard. Davis' lawyers say police made mistakes in the case, but the victim's family complains he has received "no justice at all."

By Minyvonne Burke -

NBC News

The city of Baltimore, Maryland, has dropped all charges against a black man who was tried four times for a 2015 murder, despite years of assurances that he was innocent and that police had set him up.

Keith Davis Jr. was released Friday after Baltimore State's Attorney Ivan J. Bates announced his decision.

In a press release, Bates said he has asked Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Donnelly to review the case involving

the murder of Kevin Jones, a security guard

who was fatally shot on June 7, 2015, at the Pimlico Speedway. .

Police charged Davis with committing the crime and claimed his gun matched casings found at the crime scene.

Keith Davis Jr. after being released in Baltimore on Jan. 13, 2023. Jerry Jackson / The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Bates said Donnelly reviewed all of the "pertinent information, looked at the law, and concluded that we should not continue this process."

And it added that the dismissal of the charges against Davis was "the result of a thorough review of his prosecution, as well as a careful analysis of what it means to seek justice in the city of Baltimore."

The crime

Davis was indicted in 2015 for an alleged robbery.

Hours after Jones was shot, an unlicensed taxi driver told police someone tried to hold him up with a gun.

Police identified Davis as the suspect and pursued him to a mechanic's garage.

Davis supporters said he was "cornered by police in a West Baltimore garage" and shot 44 times, according to the Free Keith Davis Jr. website. He was shot three times and survived, according to the website's information.

Police said Davis had placed a gun on top of a refrigerator in the garage.

Davis denied this and accused the officers of planting the gun after he was shot.

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Davis stood trial in 2016 for armed robbery and was found not guilty on all charges except illegal possession of a firearm.

About a week later, prosecutors charged him with Jones' murder, citing ballistics evidence.

The website's data denies Davis' involvement in the murder and claims that the gun police claimed he used was "never fired."

four trials

In 2017, the first murder trial ended with a split jury, according to the website.

The second trial, also held in 2017, ended in a guilty verdict that was overturned when the judge learned that prosecutors produced a key witness, who was "a professional jailhouse informant," without informing the court. about the background of the witness.

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Davis' third murder trial, in 2018, also ended with a split jury.

In 2020, he faced a fourth process that ended with a guilty verdict that was annulled "because the judge refused to allow the pre-trial interrogation that was requested by the defense," according to information on the website.

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They sought to condemn him "at all costs"

In his press release, Bates accused former state attorney Marilyn Mosby, who handled Davis' case, of making "missteps" in "her pursuit of a conviction at all costs."

"I fully recognize the pain and anguish that repeated failed trials have caused the victim's family, and I stand in solidarity with them. However, as state's attorney, I have a duty to ensure justice for all, not just the victim but also for the defendant," the official said.

Mosby was defeated in the Democratic primary last year while facing federal perjury charges.

She did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment, but she told The Associated Press that the case "has always been focused on seeking justice for Kevin Jones and his family."

Mosby declined to comment further.

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A "broken family"

Jones's grandmother, Earlene Neals, told The Associated Press that she was heartbroken and shocked by Bates's decision.

"Our family is destroyed," he said.

"Kevin is not getting any justice."

The Maryland Public Defender's Office, which represented Davis, said it was "extremely grateful" that he was released.

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"After four trials for a crime he did not commit, all guilty verdicts were overturned due to errors by the police, the prosecution and even the court," said Deborah Katz Levi, an attorney for Davis.

"We are grateful that the State's Attorney's Office understood that this case was fraught with so many evidentiary errors and problems, amounting to a denial of Davis' right to due process and a loss of confidence in the criminal justice system," he said. Katz Levi.

According to his legal team, Davis has asked for privacy "while he enjoys his long-awaited reunion with his wife and children."

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-01-15

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