A man who had his first-degree murder conviction erased earlier this summer will remain in jail unless he can come up with a portion of his $500,000 bond that a judge handed down Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt in July ordered a new trial for Jeramie R. Davis, who had been sentenced in 2008 to 40 years in prison for the bludgeoning death of a 74-year-old adult-bookstore owner. Davis admitted to stealing pornography and sex toys from the store but denies killing John G. “Jack” Allen, saying the owner was dead when he got there.
Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Dale Nagy told a jury in 2008 to disregard the fact that Davis’ DNA did not match that found on the baseball bat used to kill Allen. A retest of that evidence in 2011 came back as a match to Julio J. Davila, who was convicted earlier this year of the crime.
Despite that conviction, Nagy continues to argue that Davis worked with Davila and that he intends to try to convict Davis again for the killing.
“We believe the evidence still supports a charge of murder in the first degree,” Nagy said. “I believe there was sufficient evidence, although circumstantial evidence, that the two were accomplices.”
Nagy said investigators had a confidential informant and statements Davis made to others indicating he worked with somebody during the heist. But the previous judge barred that evidence from the 2008 trial.
Anna Tolin, of the Innocence Project Northwest Clinic, sought to have Sypolt force Nagy to update the charging documents, which still indicate that Davis used the bat to kill Allen.
“There was an exhaustive effort … to show whether they were accomplices,” Tolin said, and Spokane police Detective Tim Madsen “testified that there was no link discovered.”
It was Madsen’s latest report that appeared to help Davis get the new trial. Madsen submitted a report on June 19 that questioned whether Davis had been wrongly convicted of murder.
“Mr. Davis denied knowing or having any involvement with Julio Davila,” Madsen wrote in the court record. “Mr. Davis maintains he was innocent of the murder of John Allen – the new evidence may make Mr. Davis’ claims more plausible.”
Sypolt asked the attorneys to work out remaining issues and agree upon a trial date for this fall.