Crime

PREVIOUS COVERAGE | Davis on tape: 'I plan to kill at least two people'

BRADENTON — Prosecutors this afternoon rested their case against murder defendant Clifford Davis, accused of killing his mother and grandmother in late 2005.

The trial is expected to resume Monday morning at 9 a.m. Monday, when Davis’ attorneys plan to call multiple witnesses on behalf of their client, including a doctor who they told jurors will testify that their client has a brain abnormality.

Defense attorneys have mounted an insanity defense for their client who is on trial for his life. He is accused of strangling his mother Stephanie Davis and his grandfather Joseph Hill in the Wares Creek home where he lived with his mother.

If Davis is found guilty of first-degree murder, prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.

In earlier testimony today, jurors listened to the audio recording Davis made a few days prior to the killings. Before Davis was arrested, he showed Bradenton Police Department Sgt. William Knight where to find it.

“He stated that all the information we needed to obtain a guilty verdict was on the recorder,” said Knight, who along with Detective Greg Price had entered the home where Davis was reportedly hiding the day after the double slaying.

“He went on to state we’d get the guilty conviction we wanted but wouldn’t be able to get the sentence we wanted.”

Knight also said Davis asked them their opinions on the death penalty.

On the tape, Davis called the slaying of his mother and grandfather well thought out, and also said he planned to kill others that day.

“Today is Thursday Dec. 1, 2005,” Davis said on the tape. “On Sunday Dec 4, 2005, I plan to kill at least two people and rape at least two people.”

He said he planned to kill his mother and have sex with her dead body, then walk to his grandparents' home nearby, kill his grandfather, take two firearms from him and then steal his truck.

After the slayings, he said he planned to take their money to buy a new outfit to die in.

“I will be sober and sharp-minded for what I am going to do,” he continued on the tape.

As his recorded statement played in court, Davis took his glasses off and began to cry.

Davis’s grandmother also sat in the courtroom as the tape played. After it was finished, she walked outside the courtroom and wept in the hallway.

Also today, Knight said when he patted Davis down, he found his mother’s credit cards in his pocket.

Prior to that, jurors also watched a video- taped interview with Davis by Bradenton Police Department investigators.

During the first portion of the tape, Davis talks with detectives about his schooling, plans to enter the Army, his tattoos, and how he moved from Texas to Bradenton to live with his mother.

Earlier today, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement expert testified semen found inside Stephanie Davis belonged to Clifford Davis.

Carol Greenwell, a crime scene analyst, said Clifford Davis’ DNA conclusively matched evidence taken from his mother’s body after she was strangledDavis is also on trial for charges of robbery for reportedly stealing his grandfather’s truck, and abuse of a dead body for allegedly sexually assaulting his mother.

Davis and his attorney have acknowledged in court that he killed his mother and grandfather, and his lawyer said in her opening statement that she plans to mount an insanity defense.

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