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New suspect in ‘07 murder arraigned

From a visitation room at the Spokane County Jail, Jeramie R. Davis talks last week about the recent break in his case. (SR/Colin Mulvany)

A Spokane man recently arrested for a 2007 slaying that authorities previously considered solved pleaded innocent Thursday to murder charges.

 The homicide case against Julio J. Davila comes as Jeramie R. Davis, an admitted thief convicted on largely circumstantial evidence in the beating death, remains jailed awaiting the outcome of an investigation that police have said could exonerate him of the murder.

DNA found on the baseball bat used to kill Sprague Avenue adult bookstore owner John Gordon Allen Jr., 74, in 2007 was recently identified as Davila’s, creating a legal conundrum in which authorities say it’s possible the wrong man was given a 45-year prison term for a murder he didn’t commit.

But because a Spokane County Superior Court jury convicted Davis – despite his insistence that he did not kill Allen – and a state appeals court upheld the verdict, authorities are trying to figure out how to proceed.

Read the rest of my story here.

Past coverage:

July 28: Convicted killer hopes for freedom

July 26: DNA reveals new suspect in 2007 slaying

DNA reveals new suspect in ‘07 murder

Authorities in Spokane are questioning whether the wrong man was sent to prison for the murder of a porn-shop owner in 2007. A recent DNA match in the case has identified a new suspect. 

Jeramie R. Davis, 37, (left) was recently transferred to the Spokane County Jail the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, where he was serving a 40-year sentence for the fatal baseball bat beating and robbery of 74-year-old John Gordon Allen Jr., owner of Best Buy Adult Bookstore on East Sprague Avenue. 

 In March, DNA found on the baseball bat during the initial investigation came back as a match to Julio J. Davila, 45, (right) after Davila’s DNA was collected for an unrelated felony conviction.

In an interview with police June 27, Davila denied knowing Allen or Davis and said he didn’t know why his DNA would be on the bat.

But on July 5, Spokane police detectives talked to an informant who reported seeing more than a dozen new and sealed pornographic videos that Davila traded with people for drugs around the time of the murder.

Read the rest of the story here.

Past coverage:

Feb. 14, 2008: Man guilty in store owner's death

Feb. 6, 2008: Trial begins in adult bookstore murder

June 21, 2007: Sister says suspect in shop killing innocent