ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Verdicts were handed down for five of the eight men indicted in the 2017 death of a man at an Albany nightclub.
Dominque Davis was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Daquan Moore and James Byrd were found guilty of aggravated assault, and not guilty on felony murder and possession of firearm during the commission of a felony.
Derrick Jenkins was found guilty of aggravated assault and possession of firearm during the commission of a felony and not guilty of felony murder.
Stacy Frazier was found not guilty on all three counts and will be released from the Dougherty County Jail.
All of the other men will remain in custody.
Davis remained in the courtroom as jurors heard his count 5 charge for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in a 2006 armed robbery case. The jury returned a guilty verdict for count 5. Davis’ attorney told WALB that he had requested to also hear his sentence Friday for all of his charges. However, when the judge asked if he still wanted to be sentenced Friday, Davis said no. He will now be sentenced at a later date.
The jury began deliberating Friday afternoon. They deliberated the charges against all five men at the same time, but jurors must look at each defendant separately, not as a group.
Jurors deliberated on three counts: Count 1 for felony murder, Count 2 for aggravated assault and Count 3 for possession of firearm during commission of felony.
Judge Willie Lockette redacted Count 4 from the indictment. Lockette also redacted Count 5, (possession of a firearm by a convicted felon) against Davis to be heard in another trial.
Closing arguments ended at 2:30 p.m.
Potential Maximum Sentences (depending on outcome of future hearings)
Count 1: Felony Murder-life without parole (Dominque Davis)
Count 2: Aggravated Assault-20 years (Dominque Davis, Daquan Moore, James Byrd, Derrick Jenkins)
Count 3: Possession of a firearm during commission of a felony- 5 years (Dominque Davis, Derrick Jenkins)
Count 5: Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon- additional 5 years (Dominque Davis)
Sentence hearings will be held at a later date. For Davis, the family of Travion Jones will give victim statements before his sentence is read.
District attorney Greg Edwards said they are still pushing for a violation of street gang terrorism and prevention act charge for the remaining defendants not on this trial. Edwards said they intend to revisit this charge by presenting more evidence since it was withdrawn from this trial.
However, none of the men in this week’s trial will be prosecuted for this charge. It was dismissed entirely.
At 9:10 a.m., the state rested its case. The defense rested at 9:49 a.m., and jurors were sent out.
All five defendants decided not to testify and the prosecutors will not present additional evidence.
All of the defense attorneys called for motions to a number of charges for each defendant.
Each attorney spoke about the charges and why they should be dismissed. Each count was argued. Mark Phillips, Davis’ attorney, argued to dismiss the violation of street gang violation charge, but didn’t touch on the other charges much.
During the discussion of charges, all attorneys, except Phillips, said the state did not present enough for Counts 1, 2 and 3. Count 1 is felony murder; Count 2 is aggravated assault and Count 3 is possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
However, in closing arguments, Phillips said Davis didn’t murder Jones, and asked jurors to hold prosecutors accountable in proven if he committed the crime.
The defense also argued Cortez Houlton, the primary witness, pointed out most of the defendants on video but claimed the video doesn’t actually prove they had a weapon, shot Jones or the assault.
Prosecutors said if there was one credible witness, that’s enough. The primary witness provided very credible facts, prosecutors said.
Each attorney also argued that there’s not enough evidence for Count 4, which is a violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
WALB’s Asia Wilson is covering the trial and will provide updates as the case progresses.