BRADENTON — After years of legal wrangling, a judge Friday ruled that Clifford Davis will stand trial Jan. 11 in the slaying deaths of his mother and grandfather in December 2005.
Davis, 23, faces charges of first-degree murder, sexual abuse of a dead body and robbery. If he is convicted, prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.
Davis’ attorney, Assistant Public Defender Carolyn Schlemmer, has said she will be seeking a change of venue prior to trial because of the case’s extensive media coverage.
Prosecutors say Davis killed his mother, Stephanie Ann Davis, on Dec. 4, 2005, in their Wares Creek apartment. He is also accused of having sex with her dead body.
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After the killing, Davis went to De Soto Square mall with his grandfather, Joel C. Hill, got a ride back to the apartment with him, then attacked his grandfather when the pair went inside, according to police reports.
Police say Davis attacked his grandfather with a knife, used duct tape to bind his ankles, then stood on his neck until he died.
Davis is in the Manatee County jail without bond.
The court case stalled after a local judge ruled part of an alleged confession Davis gave police would not be heard at trial. The state appealed Circuit Judge Janette Dunnigan’s ruling that Bradenton police detectives continued asking questions of Davis after he asked for an attorney.
In September, the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeals upheld Dunnigan’s ruling without an opinion, putting the case back in motion.