Davis death raises many questions

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Nearly two weeks after his death, relatives of Natchez native JoJo Davis are still searching for answers.

Joseph Anthony Davis Jr., 18, was beaten to death by several men early the morning of Oct. 2 outside a party at the Adams Mark Hotel in Dallas for reasons still not clear to law enforcement officials or his parents.

&8221;You wonder why? Why do things like that have to happen to kids like that,&8220; Joe Davis Sr., JoJo’s father, said. &8221;I don’t just say that because he’s my son. People shouldn’t have to worry about that kind of thing happening.&8220;

Email newsletter signup

Davis and two relatives had attended the Grambling-Prairie View A&M game earlier that night. The three men were leaving a party when a crowd of about 200 people surrounded them and a number of men

&8221;It’s just amazing that 200 people stood around and watched while a dozen men beat him to death and did nothing,&8220; Davis Sr. said.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident. Christopher Norris Smith and Kendrick Lamont Barnes, both 22, and Antonio Denard Few, 20, have been charged with the murder of Davis. Detectives may make more arrests in the coming days, Davis Sr. said.

In the days following Davis’ death, police had few tips coming in until prominent local officials began asking for help and a reward in excess of $40,000 was put up. Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and local radio personality Rickey Smiley asked listeners to help. Price described the beating as an act of &8221;domestic terrorism&8220; in a Dallas Morning News article.

Police received information leading to the arrests shortly after the award money was posted.

&8221;I pray they capture all the ones that did it and God will deal with any they can’t get,&8220; Davis Sr. said. &8221;I think $250,000 isn’t enough. They shouldn’t have bond at all for murder.&8220;

The arrests been some consolation to Davis’ family.

&8221;It helps for his father,&8220; JoJo’s aunt Cynthia Johnson said. &8221;He hadn’t been eating and wouldn’t sleep.&8220;

Relatives said Davis was a good young man. He graduated in May 2004 from Natchez High, where he was involved in ROTC and Sigma Beta. He went to Dallas for employment, aunt Cynthia Johnson said.

&8221;He just went there to get a better job and get a chance to see a little of the world,&8220; Johnson said.

Davis’ father said he was a strong young man who wanted to do great things with his life.

&8221;He was a determined person,&8220; Davis Sr. said. &8221;He had signed up for the Marines, but we didn’t want him to go because of the war situation, so he took some time and went to Dallas. He decided he liked Dallas and wanted to stay there.&8220;

Davis worked at Grill Doctor and had plans to begin college in January.

A funeral service was held Saturday at Zion Hill No. 1 Baptist Church and Davis’ body was laid to rest at Mount Olive Baptist Church Cemetery.