We were called into the courtroom around 9:15am. They started with opening arguements from both Jerry Jones and the defense attorney (just remember his last name, "Nolan"). Evidence shown were the blood stained clothes the victim wore the night of the event (April 28, 2004), and photos of the crime scene. Blood was all over that house, mainly in the bathroom where the bulk of the stabbing took place.
First thing that surprised me was the age difference of the accused and the victim. He was born in 1958, she 1985. He is the father of her child. They never found the murder weapon.
First witness for the state was the victim, Victoria Moore. As soon as she walked in, after seeing the amount of blood in that house, I was amazed, considering how small and skinny she was, that she even survived the ordeal. She explained that she had lived with him for around three years, but moved back with her grandmother about a year before the event. The accused, Tommy Davis, kept calling and writing letters, and tried to stay in good with the family during that time. On the afternoon before the event, he installed new doorknobs and locks on the grandmothers doors, but only gave them one key for each door after installing them. After finishing the work, he left for the day, or so they thought.
Around midnight, he apparently let himself in with the keys he didn't give them. He went straight for the guest room, where Victoria and her younger sister, and their two children were sleeping, and leaped at her, dragging her out of the room, and yelling "No one else will have you! I'm going to kill you!", dragging her down the hall to the bathroom and closing the door. Then, her sister starts hearing banging and screaming. Her cousin, who was in the other room, shows up and tries to open the bathroom door, to no avail.
The grandmother, an elderly 75 year old in a wheelchair, wakes up, somehow manages to muster the energy to get out of the wheelchair and get the bathroom door open, grabbing Tommy Davis, and attempting to pull him away from her grandaughter. Davis then runs from the house, apparently carrying the weapon, described as a long pocket knife about 8-10 inches in total length with him.
The next three witnesses, the sister, the cousin, and the grandmother all gave similar versions of the events, with minor differences, too minor to mention.
Then, the emergency room physician that was at St.Francis Hospital the night the victim was brought in, was on the stand, explaining her injuries. 12 stab wounds, one deep enough to puncture one of her lungs, causing a 30% deflation, were found. She was in the hospital a little over a week from those injuries.
All this time, Davis was sitting there next to his attorney with a smug grin on his face, shaking his head "no".
Then, time for the defense witnesses. There were none. The defense closed its case.
Then, we were given instructions on verdicts we would be choosing from.
1. Guilty of attempted second degree murder.
2. Guilty of attempted second degree manslaughter.
3. Guilty of domestic battery.
4. Not Guilty.
We were then ushered out of the courtroom, into the jury deliberation room. We picked a "business" looking guy, can't remember his name, as foreman. He had the sheet with the possible verdicts on it. Immediately, all 12 of us had the same verdict... 1. Guilty of attempted second degree murder....all it took was 4 minutes. The way we saw it, it wasn't attempted manslaughter, because that would mean it was "a spur of the moment" decision on his part to commit the act, it wasn't, since he didn't do it till later that night, and intentionally left him a way to sneak into the house. It wasn't domestic battery, because of the weapon he used. If it were "battery", it would be strictly his hands as weapons. He was definitely guilty, so that ruled out "Not Guilty" also. We felt it was "pre-meditated", and he DID intend to kill her, and probably would have if the grandmother hadn't gotten there when she did.
Once our decision was made, we had to wait for the principles to get back into the courtroom before we were ushered back in. Once in, our foreman handed the verdict slip to the baliff, who then gave it to the judge. He read the verdict, asked us did we agree with it, we all agreed. The D.A. Jerry Jones, then turned his chair in the jury's direction and said a silent "Thank You". We were then released, our job done, on the way out, shaking the hand of Jerry Jones and the judge.
Fast case. Heard everything we needed and got the verdict all in the span of 7 hours. Not sure yet what Davis' sentence will be, we were excused before the judge made his deciaion on that. Guess it'll be on the news when it's decided. We get to keep our little metal "Fourth Judicial District Court JUROR State of Louisiana" buttons we wore to identify us as jurors... and the judge said our "checks would be in the mail"....