Eleven-year old murder case enters legal phase

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 2, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; The legal ball started rolling on an 11-year-old case Thursday when William Terry Davis entered a not guilty plea for the murder of Rena Davis.

Davis also responded not guilty to first-degree arson charges in connection with the March 1994 fire at Rena&8217;s house.

Judge Forrest &8220;Al&8221; Johnson appointed indigent defender Robert Clark to serve as Davis&8217;s attorney, after Davis said he did not have money to hire a lawyer.

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Davis has been incarcerated at the state penitentiary for a probation revocation of an original sentence for drug charges.

Davis was arrested by Adams County Sheriff&8217;s deputies Wednesday for the May 1994 murder of his ex-wife.

Johnson set a trial for 9 a.m. March 21. He ordered that Davis remain at the Adams County jail for a few weeks to give his attorney a chance to meet with him.

Davis will return to the Mississippi Department of Corrections facility before March and will be transported back to Natchez before the trial.

Because Davis is currently incarcerated on other charges he is not eligible for bond.

The district attorney&8217;s office will decide which charge &8212; murder or arson &8212; to proceed with first.

A cold case unit with the Adams County Sheriff&8217;s Office started heavily investigating the case in January 2004.

Rena was found beaten to death in the bedroom of her Oakland Drive home. Her ex-husband has been a suspect since the beginning.

Investigators gathered enough evidence to present the case to the December grand jury, which returned an indictment on both charges.