Defense reveals alibi in murder trial

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; William Terry Davis can&8217;t be his ex-wife&8217;s murderer because he has an alibi, defense attorney Robert Clark told the jury during his opening statements Tuesday afternoon.

&8220;He was at home with his mother, father and two daughters,&8221; Clark said.

&8220;As much as we&8217;d would like to see the right person brought to justice, William Terry Davis didn&8217;t do it.&8221;

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The jury of 11 black women and one white male had time for only opening statements from each side and testimony from one witness Tuesday after Clark called in sick that morning, pushing proceedings back several hours. Clark was present for the 1 p.m. start of jury selection. The jury wasn&8217;t seated until around 3:30 p.m.

The trial will continue today at 9 a.m. and is expected to conclude sometime Thursday.

Clark said Tuesday he plans to call Davis&8217; parents, daughters and a niece to testify about Davis&8217; whereabouts on the night Rena Davis was brutally murdered in 1994.

But attorneys for the state said they&8217;ll choose from nearly 30 potential witnesses who will say there was a history of violence from Terry Davis toward Rena, including a threat to kill her.

Assistant District Attorney David Hall revealed in opening statements that Rena was pregnant at the time of her death, something that potentially angered her ex-husband.

&8220;They were divorced approximately a year and had two children, but they kept up a sexual relationship,&8221; Hall said. &8220;Ms. Davis had another boyfriend, and William Terry Davis didn&8217;t like that. The evidence is going to show he was jealous and obsessed with this woman.&8221;

Hall said Rena had told Terry Davis of the pregnancy days before her death, telling him she wasn&8217;t sure who the father was.

The prosecution&8217;s first witness Natchez Police Lt. Tom McGee described to the jury how Rena&8217;s body was found badly beaten, lying on the floor in her bedroom in a pool of blood. The jury viewed 10 photos of Rena&8217;s body as it was found and during the autopsy. They also watched a 10-minute video McGee took at the crime scene in 1994.

McGee said he found no fingerprints or DNA at the scene that led to any suspects at all. He did take photos and collect phone lines going into the house that had obviously been cut.

He said nothing appeared to be missing from the house and there were no signs of sexual assault.

Rena was found dead in her Oakland Drive home on May 17, 1994. She had been killed the night before. Terry Davis was interviewed after the murder, but was not arrested at the time.

Investigations by the Adams County Sheriff&8217;s Office cold case unit led to the arrest of Davis in January.

The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Hall said Tuesday the suspected murder weapon appeared to be a tent stake.