Davis guilty of second degree murder

A Monroe County jury has found Richard Davis guilty of Second Degree Murder.

Prosecutors had asked the jury to convict Davis of First Degree Murder in the Feb. 2011 shooting death of his brother, Gary Davis.

The jury deliberated only a very short time before returning the verdict on Friday morning.

First Degree Murder requires that the jury find the defendant acted with premeditation, a standard the prosecution apparently did not meet to the satisfaction of this jury.

The verdict means that the 75-year old Davis escapes a mandatory life sentence.

The maximum penalty for Second Degree Murder is 50 years, so it is likely Davis will spend the rest of his life in prison anyway.

Davis did not deny shooting his brother at Gary's house on Linden Lane in Albia. The brothers were embroiled in a dispute over the family farm operation.

Richard Davis claimed that on Feb. 5, 2011 he went to confront his brother over an eviction notice and that during the confrontation Gary threatened him with a gun.

The defense did establish that Gary Davis did frequently carry a firearm on his person, but did not produce any real evidence that he was armed in the driveway that morning, and no weapon belonging to Gary was recovered from the crime scene.

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