Baltimore man found guilty of murder at rec center Bail is revoked by judge

sentencing set for April 1

February 06, 1996|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore Circuit Court jury last night found a 25-year-old Baltimore man guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of a teammate who prosecutors had said tried to make peace in a dispute over a basketball game.

Jurors deliberated a little more than two hours before convicting Elijah Davis Jr. in the death of Tony Alexander McKoy.

"Oh, I feel good," declared Emily McKoy, Mr. McKoy's mother, who turned 60 yesterday. "I really feel good. Happy birthday to me."

Judge Paul E. Alpert revoked Davis' bail last night and set sentencing for April 1. Davis told the judge that he didn't get a fair trial.

Earlier yesterday the jury heard several hours of closing arguments in which the prosecutor and defense attorney accused each other of putting on witnesses who lied about what happened on the night in question.

Mr. McKoy, 29, died of a single gunshot wound to the back May 8, 1995, a short distance from Crispus Attucks Recreation Center in West Baltimore, where he had been playing basketball several hours before.

Davis, of the 1900 block of Sherwood Ave., had played on the same team that night, and become embroiled in a dispute with a third player, Timothy McCants, over playing time.

From there, the stories diverged. Assistant State's Attorney Lawrence Doan contended that Davis raged over the game for a couple of hours after it was over, and returned to the scene to settle the score with Mr. McCants. When Mr. McKoy stepped in to mediate, Davis went to the trunk of his car and waved a .40-caliber handgun, shooting Mr. McKoy as he was running away, according to the prosecutor.

Defense attorney William Monfried, who represents Davis, said Mr. McKoy was the one who grabbed the gun and $1,800 from Davis' trunk, because he had been asking Davis for money all day without success. The money was rent Davis collected for landlords.

Mr. Monfried said Davis was trying to break Mr. McKoy's arm in an effort to dislodge the gun, and that he had bent Mr. McKoy's arm around his back when the gun went off.

To dispute that yesterday, Mr. Doan pulled out a doll of the cartoon figure Gumby to illustrate how unlikely Mr. Davis' story was.

"He'd have to be a Gumby," the prosecutor said, stretching the doll's flexible arms behind its back. "You would see an angle, a bullet path, drastically different from the one you see in this case. It couldn't happen the way the defense wants you to believe it happened."

Mr. Monfried said prosecution witnesses deserved Academy Awards for their testimony that Mr. McKoy was shot running away. He said his client was an upstanding man who owned a T-shirt business and had gone to college, only to have his senior year cut short by his arrest in the shooting.

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