PERRY -- A jury Thursday convicted a man of murder in what the state said was a botched robbery.
Tyrone Lamark Davis, 25, was convicted of felony murder in the Aug. 2, 2012, shooting death of Keith Moses, 38, in Warner Robins. Superior Court Judge Katherine Lumsden sentenced him to life without the possibility of parole.
In closing arguments Thursday morning, Davis’ attorney told the jury that the evidence in trial pointed to another person as the shooter.
The state alleged that Davis and two other men went to Moses’ house to rob him, and when he resisted Davis shot him. Prosecutors said Moses was a drug dealer.
The other two men have already pleaded guilty. Bobby Jermel Releford, 25, pleaded guilty to murder last week and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Marte Vesean Polk, 21, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of robbery by force and was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five on probation.
Polk said he drove the car and waited outside as Releford and Davis went inside.
Polk and Releford testified for the prosecution in Davis’ trial. Releford said he saw Davis shoot Moses after confronting Moses at his front door. Moses then tried to flee, and Releford fired a shot.
Releford claimed on the witness stand that he fired the shot in the air to draw attention. Assistant District Attorney Greg Winters told the jury he believes Releford did shoot at Davis, but that wasn’t the bullet that killed him.
He said evidence presented from the medical examiner about the entry and exit point of the bullet indicated that it came from the front at a sideways angle. It definitely, he said, wasn’t from the back, which would have been the direction if Releford’s bullet had struck him.
Releford and Polk testified that Davis told them in the car afterward that he shot Moses because he lunged at him.
Carl Veline, a private attorney representing Davis, said if that were true, the fatal shot would have come from a closer range than the three feet or more that the medical examiner estimated.
Winters, however, argued that three feet was consistent with how Releford described it.
No gun or bullet was recovered that could have tied one alleged shooter or the other to the slaying.
Davis did not testify. Veline said there was no evidence presented that Davis knew why they were going to Moses’ house.
“This whole thing was planned by Mr. Releford, and Mr. Releford has pleaded guilty to murder,” Veline told the jury. “No one other than Mr. Releford said they saw Mr. Davis shoot anybody.”
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725