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Admitted burglar Jeramie Davis, who looted a Spokane porn shop in 2008 as its slain owner lay dead on the floor, will remain in jail while waiting for his rare second chance to try convincing a jury that he's not a killer — just Spokane's unluckiest thief.
Davis insists porn shop owner John G. “Jack” Allen, 74, already was dead when he broke in after hours and carted off carloads of adult-oriented merchandise in several return trips. It was Davis himself who eventually called 911 — at a relative's urging — to report the corpse and while he readily admitted to burglarizing the place, he steadfastly disputed any connection to the homicide.
Neither his fingerprints nor his DNA were found on the bat that detectives concluded was the murder weapon. The only DNA, in fact, belonged to someone else, who detectives would later identify through lab tests and send to prison for the same murder Davis already had been convicted of.
Prosecutors say the emergence of a second killer does nothing to weaken their case against Davis, even though they argued in the first trial that Davis was the sole perpetrator and that his assertions of a second, unidentified intruder who was responsible for the murder were nonsense.
Here's a link to SR reporter Thomas Clouse's story on Davis losing his bid for release from jail while waiting for his new trial. Davis already has served the amount of time he was ordered to spend in prison for the burglary.
A Spokane County judge on Wednesday postponed the sentencing of a man convicted almost exclusively on DNA evidence after defense attorneys learned that tests identifying their client as the killer had been done by a crime lab technician who later was fired.
The technician’s work was so deficient that a co-worker described it as a “nightmare,” and an internal report said it could “not be trusted.”
A judge on Thursday granted the request for a new trial of a man convicted four years ago of the 2007 beating death of an adult bookstore owner in Spokane following the conviction two weeks ago of another man for the same crime.
The lead investigator in the 2007 beating death of an adult bookstore owner in Spokane now is questioning whether the wrong man was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Spokane Police Detective Tim Madsen, in new court documents, acknowledges that 41-year-old Jeramie R. Davis may have been telling the truth when he claimed that 74-year-old John G. “Jack” Allen already was dead on the floor when he arrived at the adult bookstore and made a series of return trips throughout the night to burglarize it.
From the visitation room at the Spokane County Jail in July 2011, Jeramie R. Davis talks about the recent break in his case where DNA on a murder weapon was matched to a different man. (SRPhoto)
A first-degree murder trial began Tuesday in the 2007 bludgeoning death of an adult-bookstore owner, even though another man already was convicted for that crime.
The man on trial now, Julio J. Davila, 46, (pictured right) became a suspect last year after DNA evidence was re-run on the murder weapon. Davila’s name came back as a match in a computer database of convicted felons.
No witnesses can put Davila at the scene, however, and the man previously convicted of killing 74-year-old John G. “Jack” Allen told authorities he didn’t know Davila.
Jeramie R. Davis, 41, remains in jail after having served more than four years of a 40-year prison sentence from his murder and property crime convictions.
Jerry Allen and his family are facing the rekindled pain of losing their uncle, John G. “Jack” Allen Jr., who was killed in 2007 at the age of 74. Jerry Allen did odd jobs for his uncle, who helped raise him. (SR/Colin Mulvany)
Water cascades from the roof in heavy droplets inside the abandoned brick-and-glass building on Sprague Avenue where an adult bookstore owner was bludgeoned to death nearly five years ago.
Just as the building crumbles, cracks also have begun forming in the case against the admitted thief who was sent to prison for the brutal murder of 74-year-old John G. “Jack” Allen Jr.
DNA evidence on the murder weapon has implicated a new suspect in the 2007 slaying, which prosecutors successfully argued in 2008 was the work of just one man: Jeramie R. Davis, 41 (pictured).
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.
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.