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Man guilty in store owner’s death

Thu., Feb. 14, 2008

Jeramie Davis showed no emotion Wednesday as a jury declared him guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of 74-year-old John G. “Jack” Allen.

Allen’s family held their elation until Davis left the courtroom, then hugged the Spokane County prosecutor and police detectives involved in the case.

“Now we can sleep,” Allen’s nephew, Jason Kazmark, told the prosecutor after the verdict. “I couldn’t get closure until I knew what was going to happen,” he said.

A jury deliberated for nearly two days before returning the unanimous verdict. The jury also found Davis guilty of burglary and trafficking in stolen property.

On June 17, Allen was preparing to eat his dinner when Davis entered the older man’s business, Best Buy Adult Bookstore. Using a baseball bat, Davis beat Allen unconscious and robbed the store as the man lay bleeding, authorities said. Davis took pornography, cash and sex paraphernalia.

The 37-year-old left the store, then returned with a friend and stole more items. He left and returned a second time with his sister. The siblings called 911, four hours after the beating. Allen died at the hospital the next day. Davis’ sister, Tina Jackson, has said she believed Allen had been killed by someone else, not her brother.

Items stolen from the store at 123 E. Sprague Ave. were found in Davis’ white Mustang. Stolen cash was found in the car, too. But Davis’ DNA wasn’t found in the store. “My biggest fear” was the jury wouldn’t convict because there wasn’t any DNA evidence, Kazmark said. “We just didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Allen’s family said they had worried about him owning and operating the store, which had been burglarized repeatedly.

When Kazmark asked his uncle in the late 1990s why he’d gone into the business, Allen replied, ” ‘It’s not about what it is, it’s about the money,’ ” Kazmark recalled. “The guy was an entrepreneur.”

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