Group protests handling of Kharon Davis case as trial begins

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Dothan (WTVY)-- Critics of the way Kharon Davis’ murder case has been handled protested Monday as Davis’ trial was beginning. Assembled across from the Houston County Courthouse they renewed attacks on the judicial system for the 10 years Davis has awaited trial.

Alabama NAACP Communication Chair Patricia Mokolo criticizes handling of Kharon Davis murder case in this September 18, 2017 photo.

“How can a person really be given due process under the law but it takes prosecutors 10 years to prepare a case. What’s wrong with our justice system?” asked Alabama State NAACP Communication Chairperson Patricia Mokolo.

Davis and two others were arrested in 2007 for the murder of Pete Reaves during an alleged robbery. His trial was delayed several times, sometimes at the urging of his attorneys.

“There have been so many injustices (in Dothan),” Dothan NAACP Second Vice-President Keith Gray told a crowd of about 15 people. He said Davis’ and Reaves’ families need closure.

Davis, Kevin McCloud and Lorenzo Stacey, were charged with capital murder. Stacey was acquitted in 2009 with his attorneys convincing jurors he was outside the apartment where Reaves was killed at the time of the shooting and insinuating Davis was the one who pulled the trigger.

McCloud, in 2011, pleaded guilty to a lesser murder charge, and received a 99-year prison sentence in a death with prosecutors. He and Stacey may testify against Davis.

The multiple delays in bringing Davis to trial were caused by various reasons. The first judge assigned the case retired; Davis’ first attorney was removed due to what Moulton—who inherited the case---saw as a possible conflict of interest. The attorney’s son, a police officer, had been involved in the investigation.

Davis’ wanted his second attorney off the case and Moulton had little choice but to agree and a third withdrew. Davis is now on his fourth defense attorney.
When Pat Jones replaced veteran prosecutor Doug Valeska as district attorney earlier this year, he removed himself from the case citing a potential conflict of interest. He represented one of the other defendants.

The attorney general’s office is now prosecuting the case and, recently, agreed to take the death penalty off the table as possible punishment. Davis, if convicted, could be sentenced to life in prison.

Jury selection began Monday with closing arguments likely Tuesday.