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State v. Davis
Missouri Court of Appeals
905 S.W.2d 921 (1995)
Luther Blackwell, Demetrius Tabbs, and Reginald Davis (defendant) had been drinking. As Tabbs drove Blackwell and Davis around in his car, one of the passengers said they were going to “jack” somebody. The men saw a couple, Natalie Hasty and Kevin Young, on foot. Davis and Blackwell got out, and Tabbs drove another block. Tabbs knew that Davis usually carried a gun in the small of his back and saw Davis reach for the small of this back as he left the car. Hasty and Young were unloading groceries from their car in an apartment parking lot. Blackwell displayed a knife and demanded Hasty’s purse, which she tried to hold on to. Davis headed toward Young, and Hasty saw Davis was carrying a handgun. Davis said, “I want your money. Give me your wallet.” Davis and Young wrestled, moving as much as 30 feet during the struggle. Hasty heard three shots. Blackwell escaped with Hasty’s purse. Young died before arriving at the hospital. Blackwell and Tabbs testified for the state. Blackwell testified that when he snatched Hasty’s purse, he saw a Black man jump out of the car and wrestle with Davis, who pulled out a gun and shot the man. In contrast, Hasty testified that Davis was carrying a handgun as he and Blackwell approached her and Young in the parking lot. The jury instructions described the element of deliberation as cool reflection. Davis was found guilty of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and armed criminal action and sentenced to life imprisonment without probation or parole. Davis appealed, arguing that the evidence failed to establish the element of deliberation, which was necessary for a first-degree murder conviction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Blackmar, J.)
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