Jurors to begin deliberations Tuesday in third trial for Keith Davis Jr.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations Tuesday in the third murder trial for Keith Davis Jr., who stands accused of fatally shooting a Pimlico security guard three years ago.

Davis, 26, allegedly shot Kevin Jones 11 times, emptying a .22-caliber pistol, as Jones walked to his job at the Northwest Baltimore horse track on June 7, 2015. The gun used to kill Jones was recovered later by police after they chased Davis, cornering him in a garage where several officers shot and injured Davis, according to prosecutors.


Assistant State’s Attorney Andrea Mason said Davis was found carrying the murder weapon, cell phone records put him in the area of the shooting when it occurred, and surveillance video showed Davis walking near the shooting scene just minutes before. Mason said Davis also confessed to the murder to another prisoner while he was incarcerated in Jessup Correctional Institution.

“He thought he could get away with murder,” she told jurors during closing arguments.


Davis’ defense attorney, Natalie Finegar argued the state has attempted to prosecute her client relentlessly, but investigators have found “absolutely nothing” connecting Davis to Jones and no motive.

She disputed whether the videos show her client. She said the gun recovered from where Davis was shot by police had no gunshot residue, raising doubt about whether it was ever fired. The cellphone records presented by the state only give a general location but couldn’t put Davis directly at the crime scene, and the man who claimed to have heard Davis confess to the murder was not credible, Finegar said.

“You have to be willing to put all of your faith in that investigation,” she said, but “all you have are questions.”

While much of the evidence remains the same as in the previous trials, the disputed surveillance videos from two convenience stores near the shooting scene are new.

Finegar filed a motion for dismissal after she said the state failed to turn over or disclose the videos before Friday.

Circuit court Judge Althea Handy said she found the state did not withhold the videos intentionally. She permitted the defense to show the surveillance videos, as well as enhanced images from the videos to jurors on Monday. Handy also instructed jurors that the defense only received the videos on Friday.

Finegar had argued the videos were crucial pieces of evidence that police overlooked. She said the victim can be seen, but also an unknown man wearing a black shirt, jeans and sneakers, pulling up what appears to be a mask.

The person does not resemble Davis, Finegar said, and she questioned why detectives did not more thoroughly investigate the video, which might have yielded more witnesses near the shooting and possibly identified the shooter.

However, Mason also cited the videos in her closing arguments, saying that the unknown man matched Davis’ description the morning of the shooting. As she spoke, Assistant State’s Attorney Ashley Sewell held up ripped jeans and white tennis shoes with black markings, the clothing Davis was wearing when arrested, which Mason said matched the description in the video.

The third trial for Keith Davis Jr., the man who was shot by Baltimore police and charged with the death of a Pimlico Race Course security guard more than three years ago, was scheduled to begin Tuesday.

Homicide Detective Mark Veney said during cross-examination Monday that when he first reviewed the surveillance video after the shooting, he did not see anything related to the case or anything of “evidentiary value.” He said homicide investigators have to stay focused and cannot chase everything or interview all the people who might have been in the area at the time of the shooting.

“You can’t go on a fishing expedition,” he said.

Finegar played the video to jurors and pointed to a man who she said matched Jones’ description, passing the store just before the shooting. She asked why he did not see any value to the video, but Veney did not respond directly. He said the videos “may have a different meaning now.”

Davis’ first murder trial in May 2017 ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked. He was found guilty of second-degree murder at his second trial last October, but a judge reversed the conviction because information about a key witness was not disclosed.

Prosecutors called that witness, David Gutierrez, again on Thursday and he testified that Davis confessed the shooting to him.

After Davis’ conviction at his second trial, his attorney Latoya Francis-Williams filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that key information about Gutierrez had been withheld. In December, a judge reversed the conviction because she said there was a significant possibility that undisclosed information about Gutierrez’s role in a Texas gang murder could have changed the outcome of the trial.

According to recordings of the trial testimony on Thursday, Finegar questioned Gutierrez’s account and his motivations for testifying. Finegar said that after he testified in the last proceeding, he was relocated to another prison where he had better conditions, such as a job.

In questioning Gutierrez, Finegar pressed him on what benefit there was to him.

Gutierrez said Mason agreed to write a letter to the district attorney involved in Gutierrez’s case, letting them know of his cooperation in the Davis case.

But he said he also felt compelled to come forward.

“If it was my brother, I hope somebody would step forward,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said he met Davis through his then-cellmate, who sold homemade alcohol.

Finegar called that cellmate to the stand on Monday and his testimony disputed that he sold alcohol or that Davis visited their cell.

Each day, supporters of Davis, including his wife, who have called on the state’s attorney’s office to drop the charges against him, have packed the courtroom.

Several family members of Jones have attended, including his mother.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun