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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Richard Davis Jury reviews sex-killing tape, nears deliberation

Right: Richard Davis
Associated Press

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Jurors in the capital-murder case of a man accused of killing two women viewed a DVD recording Wednesday of the women being beaten and sexually tortured.

The jury in the trial of Richard Davis, 44, reviewed 90 minutes of edited images taken from seven hours of videotapes that police found in Davis' Independence apartment.

According to previous testimony, the videotapes showed Davis and his girlfriend, Dena Riley, brutalizing two women -- Marsha Spicer, 41, and Michelle Huff-Ricci, 36.

Davis is on trial in Jackson County for the May 2006 death of Spicer, of Independence. He faces 40 felony counts, including capital murder, and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Riley's trial is scheduled for next year.

Davis and Riley also are charged in neighboring Clay County with capital murder in the April 2006 suffocation of Huff-Ricci.

Closing arguments had been expected Wednesday, but were put off when Davis told the judge he wanted to testify. The judge sent Davis out of the courtroom to talk to his attorneys about taking the stand, after which Davis decided against it.

Jurors will start deliberating after hearing the closing arguments today.

The DVD played Wednesday could be seen only by the jury, judge, prosecutors and defense attorneys. However, the audio could be heard by others in the courtroom, revealing graphic details of the case.

Members of Spicer's family who were in the courtroom when the DVD started playing had left by the time the recording finished.

Huff-Ricci's death came to light after Davis and Riley were captured in southwest Missouri after a five-day manhunt in May 2006 and brought back to the Kansas City area to be charged in Spicer's death.

Police have said both defendants led investigators to Huff-Ricci's charred, skeletal remains in rural Clay County, just north of Independence.

Riley and Davis also have been indicted in Kansas on a federal charge of kidnapping a 5-year-old southeast Kansas girl related to Davis after they fled the Kansas City area.

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