Trial ends in guilty plea

Published 3:00 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

A man has pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and manslaughter in an incident that led to the death of a man in 2016.

Davaris Mendenhall, 22, pled guilty to the charges Tuesday while on trial for a charge of first-degree robbery. He has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Mendenhall is one of two suspects arrested shortly after the incident occurred on May 12, 2016.

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Sheriff Russell Thomas said the sheriff’s department received a call at approximately 2:30 a.m. that morning of three suspects attempting an armed robbery.

“The resident told us he heard a knock on his door and when he opened the door, three male subjects rushed inside his residence.”

One of the men was armed with a handgun and as the homeowner fought back, the weapon was discharged during the struggle, Thomas said. “The three suspects fled the residence…and two of the suspects were picked up and taken away. We found the third suspect, Javonte King, about 200 yards from the homeowner’s residence.”

Mendenhall and Anthony Jerome Starks were the other two suspects picked up by deputies.

King died as a result of a gunshot wound to the torso. Mendenhall and Starks were immediately arrested and charged with first-degree robbery and were both later charged with murder for causing a death in the commission of an armed robbery.

Jeff Moore, assistant district attorney, said he plea deal reduced the robbery charge from first-degree to second degree and a murder charge to manslaughter. Mendenhall had been charged with the two Class A Felonies, which are both punishable by 20 years to life in prison. Second-degree robbery and manslaughter are both punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.