State v. Keith Davis, Jr. - Episode 8 Kevin Jones
At Farmers Insurance we know a roof can withstand one exception being an airborne car seen it covered it click for more underwritten by farmers truck fire insurance exchanges and affiliates products available in every State Kief. Davis's prints were forensically recovered from that firearm era that recovered firearm was ballistic -ly matched to the murder of Kevin Jones Kief. Davidson's cellphone records were covered in examined by the F._B._i.. Place him in direct wreck proximity of Kevin Jones is murder. Today we are announcing the arrest of Kief Davis for first degree murder. We have worked in partnership with the Sates Attorney's office on behalf of Kevin Jones and Kevin Jones is family. I am thankful for the hard work of a homicide detectives particularly lead detective Mark Vini and I'm grateful for the dedicated and relentless work of our partners in the state's attorney's Office <music> <music> Hi welcome to part two of undisclosed special series the state versus Keith Davis Junior. My Name is Robert Shaw the I'm an attorney author of the New York Times bestseller a non story now before we plunge into the continuation of this live case which is going to be ongoing for the next couple of weeks. Just a note for our listeners will be following the live trial of Keith Davis Junior for the next couple of weeks and after that we'll be back with a short series of a wrongful conviction led by Colin Miller and after that to end out our year. We're going to have a long season on a double homicide case out of Tennessee that you do not not want to miss all right now back this season at hand journalists. Amelia MacDonald Carey has spent the last eight months investigating the events of Sunday June two thousand fifteen the day the Keith Davis Junior became the first person shot by the Baltimore police since the killing of Freddie gray the first seven episodes of the series. We're focused on how the police with the help of Maryland Moesby state's attorney's office covered up the truth about the shooting alleging Keith had a gun and charging him with more than twenty crimes instead dead but that was just case number one because when they're bogus case fall apart in court police and prosecutors did it again for the last three and a half years of his wrongful imprisonment Keith has been defending himself against a totally really different set a very serious charges case number two is the murder of twenty two year old Kevin Jones who was shot to death five hours before Keats encounter with Baltimore police this past Friday July Twelfth Two Thousand Nineteen nineteen marked the official start of Keith Davis Juniors fourth trial for murder and fifth trial since that Sunday in June two thousand fifteen over the next two weeks undisclosed will air part two of the series because Amelia is back doc with new episodes on Mondays and Thursdays all about the murder case as it continues to unfold in real time and by the sound of it well things are off to a wild start <music>. 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DOT COM SLASH UNDISCLOSED THREAT DOT COM slash undisclosed for an extra thirty percent off today terms apply good afternoon during the early morning hours of June the Seventh Twenty fifteen a twenty three year old security guard named Kevin Jones dressed in full uniform walked from his neighborhood neighborhood home to the PIMCO racetrack to report for work at four fifty three am a single gunman approached Kevin Jones with an apparent mode of to Rob Him and shot Kevin Jones several times uh-huh killing you on Sunday June seventh two Thousand Fifteen Kevin Jones was up early scheduled to begin his usual shift the PIMLICO race track at five A._M.. Kevin was twenty two years old and began working for the Maryland Jockey Club as a security guard after graduating high school. It was still dark out when Kevin left his grandmother Orleans House on West Garrison Avenue in park heights but PIMLICO was around the corner and barely a five minute walk in eighteen seventy three three years after the track. I opened PIMLICO debuted. The preakness stakes an annual thoroughbred horse race that is the second jewel of the triple crown. The title is awarded to a three year old thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby the preakness and the Belmont stakes in a single year in two thousand fifteen. The Kentucky Derby was held on Saturday June sixth which meant the preakness was less than two weeks away aside from fifteen senior stint at the turn of the century. When the race was held up in Coney Island New York the preakness has always been run at Pimlico in the heart of Park Heights and North West Baltimore the track and especially the preakness attracts spectators from all over the mid-atlantic? At Atlantic region generating big money for the city if any of that money has ever been invested back into Park Heights. It's hard to tell the closest entrance to Pimlico is on Hayward Avenue but Kevin Jones always cut across the parking lot on the south end of the race track using a shortcut near the intersection of Park Heights Avenue and West Belvedere avenue usually walked up West garrison and turned left onto park heights which had a few convenience in stores that were open twenty four hours a day. The street was actually a major roadway on the west side of Town Hall Twelve Mile Stretch of State Highway one twenty nine from Jerus- help park all the way up through Pike's Ville in Baltimore County Kevin only had to walk a few blocks north before he reached us Belvedere Cross through the intersection and then taking a right he kept walking alongside the fence that surrounded the parking lot about a quarter of the way up the block. There was a gap in the fence. The two metal posts were kind of boat open. Just wide enough to slip through the gap had been there for years. It still is there now. There's a lot of crime and park heights and the blocks round PIMLICO are basically an open air drug market even with the City Watch C. C. T. camera at the intersection street lights up and down both blocks and police patrol cars doing laps all day and all night but if extra privacy is needed once the sun goes down the parking lot at Pimlico is dark and there aren't any security cameras on this part of the Property Kevin was on time for work that morning. He was even going to be a few minutes early but he never made it across the parking lot at four fifty one A._M.. Someone called nine one one to report a shooting Park Heights Belvedere the sergeant on duty at the North West district that morning Richard Brown was the first officer to respond to the location usually and on-duty supervisor like Brown doesn't respond to calls but the district Eric was short on a billable officers that morning troll officer Paul Heffernan arrived at five seven and he was made the primary unit for the incident Brown didn't find a crime scene anywhere on the street so the officers decided canvas the PIMLICO parking lot heading heading an opposite directions. Here's officer Heffernan testifying at Keith's first trial when I lo- wall on the law searching with flashlight and then we discovered the victim on the ground and win over Tim in the field position he wasn't moving motionless. It suffered a gun shop to his head chest. dispassionate already called for a medic and Kevin Jones is pronounced dead at five twenty-one several supervisors advisors from the Maryland Jockey Club were among the first on scene after Brown and Heffernan and Jones was quickly identified as one of their security officers crime scene photos taken shortly after sunrise show Jones lying on his right side and the fetal position with his face torso turned up in one close up photo of his face his warm Brown eyes gates empty towards the sky his forehead and hairline or bloody and on the right side his skull dense kind of inward and then bulges out a malformation indicated at least one gunshot had been to his head his bloody slightly open mouth and several missing and broken teeth suggest a second Heffernan hop back on the radio definitely be a twenty one hundred twenty one hundred was patrol cops way of telling dispatch to alert the homicide unit. Kevin Jones was a Baltimore is one hundred twenty third homicide victim of two thousand fifteen dispatch. Call the homicide desk down at B._p._d.. Headquarters and within just a few minutes the case was assigned to a detective working the midnight shift that morning his name was Mark Vini a twenty five year veteran of the Department Vini had spent the last fifteen years in the homicide unit with a few special assignments assignments here and there in fact his name may be familiar to undisclosed listeners for his rather minor but memorable involvement in non sides case after Asia McLean testified at odd non two thousand fifteen post conviction relief hearing few proving Neuralgia sent Vini to the Woodland Public Library to find something or someone to refute her testimony that they had security cameras back in one thousand nine hundred nine Vini returned with the library employees who quickly became known as is useless Steve. There's to believe that Steve was going to be a game changing witness but it turned out that he didn't have any answers at all. I still don't know if the miscommunication was due to theros delusional arrogance or Venus propensity <hes> pity for telling lies to be clear. I didn't know much of anything about any before this case but running errands for theory was a red flag. I knew Venus Homicide Powell's all wore bow ties and smoke cigars and I knew that Venus technically one of the leads in the Freddie Gray investigation but the files indicated he barely did anything at all. Unfortunately the same can be said for Venus investigation into the murder of Kevin Jones Venus testimony at the last three murder trials the thin stack of Lotus notes documenting his efforts and the rest of the evidence in the case lead only two one conclusion Viennese investigation into who killed Kevin Jones began on June seventh two thousand fifteen and was all close before the end of the day. Oh there were steps that still needed to be taken. Don't get me wrong but by lunchtime Vini had zeroed in on a suspect persona mindset of a homicide detective. If you just had a murder at park heights in Belvedere in two or three hours later you hear another major incident involving police involved shooting which occurred quarter of a mile away <hes> I just thought that it would be to to to see if it was any any relevant towards the homicide that had occurred three hours earlier. The five hours later in park heights a short distance from the Mercy Baltimore Police Police Officers Chased Keith Davis on foot while investigating the report of an unrelated Crime Keith Davis Confronted Baltimore Police officers with a firearm after he ran into a garage and our police police officers discharged their firearms non fatally wounding Heath Davis when then Police Commissioner Kevin Davis announced on March second two thousand sixteen that Keith Davis Junior had been charged with first degree murder of Kevin John's the jury's verdict and the armed robbery case just five days earlier seemed to have never really happened a dozen employees of the B._P._d.. Including the four officers who shot dot keet that day testified to several contradictory versions of what the Commissioner was continuing to allege and on February twenty fifth they acquitted Keith a fifteen sixteen charges including all counts related related to confronting the officers with a handgun the evidence in that case was always flimsy on the very first day of the so-called investigation. The officers who were deemed witnesses gave statements full of contradictions which the detectives never tried to resolve the officers actually shot Keith. We're not interviewed at all by anyone for seven months and twelve jurors had just decided their stories didn't add up and Hear Commissioner Davis was doubling down <hes> he was also found not guilty of charges related to the attempted armed robbery of hack driver Charles Holden but to hear Commissioner Davis Telit the robbery was not just quote unrelated to Kevin Jones's murder but the shooting in the garage as well. In a way Davis was right since Keith never robbed a hack but the charges held Keith in jail for nine months Holden since the start didn't identify Keith and at the trial standing Mir inches away away holden pronounce. Don't look like him to me and yet despite what Commissioner Davis was saying about it being an unrelated crime Charles Holden's account of the armed robbery the morning of June in seventy two thousand fifteen has been a cornerstone of the prosecution's murder case but he has never been called back to testify <music>. This is actually a murder case that hinges on ballistics the alleged match between the Hammer trailside twenty two found in the garage where Keith was shot and the fired ammunition from the PIMLICO crime scene the conviction for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon is the only thing that links Keith to the murder of Kevin Jones and one thing is for sure that conviction what even means is confusing as hell the jury acquitted Keith of all the other charges including wearing carrying transporting a firearm the jury did not think the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Keith had ever had got a gun on or about his person or an vehicle. Let alone used a gun in the commission of all the other charges so how could they convict him of regular old possession prior felony or not. It's called constructive possession under Maryland law you you can be found guilty of possession Minova firearm and not actually have had the gun in your hand or on your person but the state is supposed to prove if you things here's how judge Berry Williams explained it during the jury instructions at the very first trial the patch rarely joint versi hobby time person aw I indirect physician journey whether vinit indirect object she can do all who serves circuses circuses who the ship issues in Asian thins participating does not all right so the gun on top of the Fridge was in plain view and in close proximity to Keith and a location he could have accessed according to the crime scene photos that were shown to the jury but participating with others is in the mutual use and enjoyment of the gun. This is a strange way of saying that the jury should consider whether there's any evidence of physical possession. The officers said Keith had a gun but it's clear the jury didn't believe their testimony proved approved the rest of the charges and Charles Holden the victim of the attempted armed robbery testified Keith wasn't the guy the fingerprint and palm print are the most obvious evidence of physical possession yet. The jury didn't believe he actually did anything with it following that logic if you could call it that maybe the jury concluded that touching a random gun and unfamiliar location in the midst of chaos met the legal standard for constructive possession. I hope not there's also the element of keys prior felony conviction. Maryland has a boatload of gun laws with distinguishing factors and penalties and those are reflected in the states many criminal gun charges Keith was prohibited from physically constructively possessing any gun for example. He is not allowed to go to a gun range or live in a home with a firearm that isn't licensed registered and locked in a safe or case for example. He was facing a mandatory minimum sentence of five five years so to get a conviction technically the state needed to prove that Keith actually was convicted felon. Usually the defense will stipulate to that fact so it's actually in contention is the current charge if they don't though the state date basically has to prove the defense identity. It's a big huge waste of the courts time so it's incredibly rare but for example a lawyer friend told me that in Baltimore the prosecutor will bring in a fingerprint examiner who fingerprints defended in the courtroom room and then compares those prints to the known prints of the convicted felon. I eat themselves which are retained by the Department of Corrections. Then both print cards are entered into evidence anyway. The jury instructions for the charge also addressed the element of the prior felony conviction. Here's Judge Williams again. Mission will run viral zero. You'll get any charge I find these instructions a little bit misleading. I think it gives a lot of weight to the Prior Felony Element of the charge in determining innocence or guilt overall and during closing arguments so did prosecutor cuter louisette wrinkled Kirksey. She didn't really talk about the possession element at all of our will you heard stay present relation back accidents where Dr Farsi by sibling fire those eighty one of the sign but counsel as well and this isn't now that we've been having fire nation where he allowed unhappy he had done person you'll see in your charms and it has got the person possession of the did you hear that rustling paper wrinkled Kirksey actually had the sign stipulation that are hand. Here's reporter bannered woods the procure kind of made this point that you can't not convict on this and I and I know the defense has taken that as rather than a rhetorical flourish as a claim that jurors to mean just one is an open for debate. It's when you actually don't have a choice rather than the rhetorical flourish of like there's no way you could possibly <hes> see this but it was a rising verdict. I guess the Spencer the time where they didn't really see a contradiction. People thought that like yeah he clearly didn't rob this hack and his story that he was just walking down the street is probably right so like yeah. They chased the wrong guy and they shot the wrong guy but the guy happened also have a gun because it's Baltimore and relying on this assumption of people be. You think every night on the news oh my God more people shot multiple killed. We'll never know what the jury was thinking but banners theory speaks to an undeniable impact that crime and in particular gun violence has on residents of Baltimore the jury we didn't by the states case but maybe the basic elements rang so true they came up with a simple story of their own. A young black man and park heights is chased by police and then shot but oh look he has a gun in two Thousand Fifteen Baltimore saw record-breaking violence including over three hundred forty homicides many of them fatal shootings. The number has barely fluctuated sense. Many jurors live in the middle of it have seen loved ones friends the neighbors pay the price shootings and homicides dominate the local news with stories according to what police say picturing victims and suspects and persons of interest almost all of them young black men like heath and Kevin John's. Maybe the conviction was a compromise is guilty on the lowest charge just in case as it turned out just in case was the reason for that charge all along <music> and why do you gentlemen just <hes> was found guilty. One charge acquitted others for <hes> where that is related to being garage. <hes> why these charges now the incident occurred in June and there was a substitute investigation has to the events that I'll I'll say this. There's a reason why there's no statute of limitations for for the crime of murder so <hes> homicide investigations uh-huh <hes> take time they take collaboration with our partners and our partners in this case in included the state's attorney's office in the F._B._i.. So we wanted to make sure that we had sufficient evidence gathered and as we've described we have forensic evidence we have ballistic evidence and when we gathered that that evidence in a way that amounted to <hes> probable cause we move forward with the state's attorney's office and sought charges for first degree murder. Kevin Davis refused to answer this report is question about when the gun was ballistic linked to the murder but that was an important question then and it's an important question now after three murder trials each crazier than the last and more and more distance from from the shooting. I wondered whether people even had an answer or still wondering I asked being hardwoods what he thought what's your sense of terms with the timeline gun linking fish to the murder. I'm wondering how that came across. No I have no idea <hes> <hes> if it was I mean my guess would be that they made the link right when they added those new charge that would be why like okay. Let's let's see he gets often all this other stuff and they started to realize it was a bad case off from this other stuff then like let's just make sure he gets went to the gun and then we haven't Mcginn beans referring to the prohibited firearm possession charges that were filed against Keith in December two thousand fifteen. It's a good guess those charges were clearly important and the timing of them is interesting to his hunch that the police was lying in wait. That's definitely true but for how long the truth is he's many many months off. According to the actual <hes> ballistics list six reports like the testing that compared the gun to the shell casings from the murder stand that was completed on June eleventh two thousand fifteen yeah very strange that they wouldn't especially given their concern concerned with the narrative and the homicide rate. It's odd that they would just say we're not going to go to the states earning. Look we have evidence now that this guy also committed this murder. Let's go with that and then that helps your your robbery the case because that explains why he's all agitated or whatever they wanted to say so like it really doesn't make a lot of sense. If you're playing up and up on Friday July twelfth two thousand nineteen heath began his fourth trial for the murder of Kevin Jones as with any trial this began with pretrial motions which were due to take on entire day and they were interesting right away from the start but all of a sudden he's new attorney. Debra Levy dropped the kind of bomb. I could have only imagined in my wildest nightmares Lee had obtained two thousand seventeen seventeen internal affairs documents for the four Firearms Examiners who analyze the ballistic evidence and keeps case and what she found was insane a culture of bullying that resulted in one firearms examiner picking up another firearms examiner who called him incompetent throwing her eight feet across the room leaving her with bruises up and down her arms I she told I._A._D.. Her supervisors at the crime lab did not follow proper procedure reporting the assault. She ended up leaving the department rather than stay. That was hardly the only thing there were allegations of cheating failing on proficiency exams. One examiner had to be reprimanded for repeatedly misidentifying firearms most insane of all James Webster the primary examiner on the shell casings that were collected from the murder scene of Kevin Jones ounce and the primary firearms examiner of the Hammer Lee trailside twenty two pistol. He's basically blind this coming Thursday on undisclosed mm-hmm. Thank you so much for coming back for part two of our Keith Davis Junior series with any frigging luck. This is going to be the end of his terrible nightmare for the next two weeks. I'll be attending the trial writing episodes about the murder incorporating the new information that comes out in court. It's anything like what will you heard the motions hearing on Friday well. I think you're gonNA WANNA to net. I want to say thank you so much to rob a Susan Collins for letting me do the series letting me break it up into two parts had for letting me add episodes then just basically letting me do my thing. This has been the best experience that I wish I was not doing because I wish Keith was home. Thank you so much to team. Keith for welcoming need a Baltimore and I love you all. Thank you so much to Rebecca who's on a plane right. Now I think and is editing this episode and probably hates me. I love you Rebecca. Thank you so much to meet Hotel Han. I will probably still ask you for extra episodes. Even though I know it's not going to happen but you never know miracles. We'll see thank you so much to all the lovely people who are doing some form of court support this week whether it is attending the trial and taking glorious notes and sending me photos of them so I don't miss a thing or if you're making food and making ensure that everybody's staying well-fed rested thank you so much for that shadow to all the court employees who are here are listening to the podcast hey guys and lastly I'm just sending love and strength and hope and all of it to Keith and Kelly Davis who are going through a truly traumatizing experience for the fifth time when this should not be happening at all I can feel it. This is the home stretch.