Who Is Keith Davis, Jr.? Man tried 4 times for Baltimore murder before charges dropped
BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City State's Attorney Ivan Bates made good on a campaign promise Friday after his office dropped all charges against Keith Davis, Jr., a Reisterstown man charged in the 2015 shooting death of a Pimlico security guard.
Davis was tried four times for the murder of the security guard and was awaiting a fifth trial when the charges were dismissed.
Davis' wife, Kelly, and a wave of activists protested his prosecution, calling on then-Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to drop the charges, to no avail.
The 31-year-old has maintained his innocence in the case. Below is a timeline constructed with WJZ reports and reporting by our media partner The Baltimore Banner.
On the morning of June 7, 2015, Kevin Jones was working security at the Pimlico race track. He was shot 11 times in the parking lot of where he worked.
That morning, police chased Davis into an auto repair shop in Northwest Baltimore as part of an unrelated attempted robbery investigation and fired dozens of rounds, striking him three times, including in the face.
Circumstantial evidence places Davis in the vicinity at the time of the shooting, but there is no DNA evidence to back him as the killer.
Davis was found not guilty in the armed robbery, but seven days later police charged him with the murder of security guard Kevin Jones.
Davis stands trial for murder the first time in Baltimore Circuit Court. The jury is unable to reach a verdict and the judge declares a mistrial.
A jury convicts Davis of second-degree murder and a gun charge in his second trial.
Davis is granted a new trial after he appealed on grounds that jurors did not hear the full criminal history of a prison witness who testified for the prosecution.
Davis is tried for a fourth time. A jury is again unable to reach a verdict and the judge declares a mistrial. The case is postponed a year.
Davis is tried for a fourth time and convicted of second-degree murder and a gun charge. The Baltimore Banner reports prosecutors argued his clothing matched that worn by the killer in the surveillance video, that cellphone records placed him at the scene, and that the pistol from the garage matched the murder weapon.
His defense attorney presented a theory that police planted the gun to cover their tracks after mistakenly shooting an unarmed Davis.
Davis is sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Judge grants a fifth trial for Davis after his defense appealed the conviction. The Banner reports his attorney had appealed the conviction based on the fact she was not allowed to ask the judge to question prospective jurors about their understanding of legal principles.
The trial was set for May 2023. Davis' defense asked for him to be released until then.
Two weeks after the fifth trial is granted, Marilyn Mosby's office filed new charges for attempted murder over an alleged prison fight that happened in 2020.
Davis's defense called the charges politically motivated and sought to have them thrown out.
Ivan Bates defeats Marilyn Mosby in the Democratic Primary election. He said he would drop Davis' charges as the Baltimore City State's Attorney on the campaign trail.
Newly sworn-in Baltimore City State's Attorney Ivan Bates dismisses all charges against Keith Davis, Jr. in both criminal cases against him.
This article was originally published on WJZ.com in July 2021.
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