Crime

Bradenton man said he was shooting at intruders. They were cops, and he is going to prison

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Mark Davis claimed there were intruders in his home when he fired at Manatee sheriff’s deputies on Feb. 6, 2017.

Davis had called 911 and reported intruders in his home three hours before, but deputies found no evidence of a home invasion. He called 911 again and said, “Shots fired,” before hanging up.

When deputies arrived, Davis would not answer the door or his phone. Moments later, shots were fired — at them.

Davis fired more than two dozens shots at deputies, almost hitting four deputies. Following an hour-long standoff and trading gunfire with deputies, Davis emerged from his home, armed with a gun and a stick in his hand, surrendered and was arrested.

Video surveillance footage from Davis’ home corroborated that there hadn’t been any intruders in the home.

On Thursday, following a four-day-long trial, a jury found Davis guilty of two counts of attempted manslaughter with a firearm and one count of shooting a missile within a building. He faces up to 45 years in state prison.

“We’re pleased with the jury’s verdict,” assistant state attorneys Charlie Lawrence and Garrett Franzen said in a news release.. “These deputies were protecting the community with their lives, as they do every day, and we are proud that justice was served.”

Davis had been out on bond while the case was pending but he was ordered into custody following the jury’s verdict. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.

The jury got to watch the surveillance video footage from Davis’ home from the day of the shooting and hear the 911 calls he made for themselves, during the trial. They also watched his recorded interview with detectives.

Davis also took the stand in his own defense, standing by his initial claims that their were intruders in his home that he was shooting at. His roommates at the time, his best friend and his best friend’s wife, also took the stand in his defense. The couple and their 4-year-old child had been sleeping during the gunfire.

“We appreciate the time and consideration each of the individual jurors put in to reach their verdict,” Assistant Public Defender Alison Cossetti Clough said in a statement to the Bradenton Herald. “It was clearly a very thoughtful decision, as it appears (by convicting on the lesser included offenses of Attempted Manslaughter) that the jury as a whole did not feel the actions taken by Mr. Davis on Feb. 6, 2017, were done from ill will, hatred, spite, or an evil intent.”

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