Davis gets two life sentences

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Troy man will serve life without parole after he was convicted Friday of robbing two local banks.

James Henry Davis, 50, received two life sentences Friday after a Pike County Jury returned a guilty verdict on two counts of robbery first degree. Davis was convicted for robbing the Troy Bank & Trust in Brundidge in December 2008 and Colonial Bank in Troy in January of 2009.

During the trial, Pike County District Attorney Gary McAliley and Assistant District Attorney Tom Anderson called 17 witnesses for the prosecution.

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Of those were several investigators, eyewitnesses and forensic document experts.

McAliley said the trial began with testimony from Brundidge Police Investigator Willie Frank Berry, who spearheaded investigations in the Troy Bank & Trust robbery.

“He talked to the tellers who described him as a black male, with a black leather coat, black pants, bright white shoes, a black toboggan with a bill on it and gloves,” McAliley said.

Berry also testified that Davis walked into the bank and passed a note to the teller that read, “I want $2,500. I have a gun.”

One of the gloves was found inside the bank.

McAliley then called DA Investigator Bruce Matthews to the stand, who discovered video footage from the Hobo Pantry in Brundidge with a 2002 Hyndai Sonata. It was later found that vehicle belonged to Davis.

Search of the vehicle by Troy Police Officer Michael Hughes is what led officers to Davis, after he robbed Colonial Bank in January.

McAliley said Hughes went to the home of Debra Wood, who was Davis’s girlfriend, and she allowed them to search the residence.

In the home, Hughes found a notebook with two pages torn out, where an impression could be seen that read, “I want $2,500. I have a gun.”

McAliley also called a specialist that showed how the note the teller had and matched out of pages of the book.

Another expert found one of Davis’s fingerprints on the notebooks.

Anderson said several tellers from each of the banks testified as to what Davis was wearing and identified him in the courtroom.

“In addition to those tellers taking the stand and describing what exactly it was they saw…and the fact James Henry Davis had his fingerprints on the note that was used at Colonial Bank (was our strongest evidence),” Anderson said.

While Davis asked for $2,500 at both banks, he stole $2,005 from Troy Bank & Trust and $3,010 from Colonial Bank, Anderson said.

Davis was represented by attorney Jay Taylor, of Montgomery.

The defense called Davis and a character witness to the stand Friday, but Anderson said that was all of the defense witnesses.

Anderson and McAliley asked for the maximum sentence of life without parole, and Judge Thomas Head awarded that. Davis had nine prior felony convictions.