Troy Davis hearing wraps up -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troy Davis hearing wraps up

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By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Judge William T. Moore gave the defense and prosecution on Thursday a list of questions to answer in the hearing of a man convicted in the fatal shooting of a Savannah police officer.

Troy Davis was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991 in the 1989 fatal shooting of Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail.  

Both sides in the case must respond to these questions by no later than 5 p.m. on July 7. Moore said he will be as prompt as possible with the ruling and he will not be reasonably late with the ruling. There is no deadline on when Moore has to make a ruling.

A probation officer and six officers with the Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department testified Thursday.

Davis's defense team tried making an issue out of the questioning of Larry Young, the homeless man who was crying for help while being beaten who MacPhail was trying to help when he was shot, after the shooting.

Robert Fallagend, Davis's original attorney, testified about taking on the case. He testified that he was approached by Davis's mother. He said he felt all three photographs should have been shown to witnesses for a lineup, but that only Davis's picture was shown.

Davis's defense attorneys said Coles, Davis and Daryl "D.D." Collins all should have been shown in a lineup.

Young was being harassed by Coles over the beer he was carrying, according to court documents. Witnesses testified at the time that Davis was also harassing Young and that he began to pistol whip him.

Coles said he was at the pool hall and got into an argument with Young and that Collins and Davis were there, according to court documents.

The defense team tried to show ineffectiveness of original legal council in the trial.

"This isn't about effective or ineffective council was then. This is about whether or not Troy is innocent," the judge said. "We are not here to retry the Davis case."

State prosecutors called former assistant district attorney David Lock, co-council with Spencer Lawton during the trial. They were questioned about whether witnesses who testified in the trial.

Moore asked Lock about Kevin McQueen saying that Davis admitted to killing MacPhail and then recanting that statement and whether McQueen received special treatment for the testimony.

Lock said no. "I'm certain this is not something I would have done." he said.

Lawton was asked on the stand if he put pressure on witnesses. "I did not," he said.

The judge stopped further questioning of Lawton about the case because he said he could not remember.

The defense team presented new testimony that they say proves Davis's innocence.

In their closing arguments, the defense team pointed to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation 2007 report that tested shorts taken from Davis's home and Coles. The report showed that Davis's had human blood on his shorts, but there wasn't any on Coles's shorts.

The defense team submitted their own forensics test results on the shorts saying the blood could be anything. Test results said there was an insufficient amount of blood to get a test.

Valerie Gordon, a witness, testified that Coles T-shirt was yellow, but every other witness to the MacPhail shooting said the shooter's T-shirt was white.

Gordon and another person's testimony won't be used by the judge because he said it's hearsay.

The prosecution argued in closing arguments that:

  • People pinpointed Davis as the shooter.
  • Witnesses' recanting testimony is unreliable and defense did not meet the standards of proving Davis's innocence.
  • The defense team had witnesses they could have taken the stand, but they didn't call them to the stand just read their statements.

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