COVINGTON, Ga. – Convicted murderer Robert Maurice Davis Sr. was back in a Newton County courtroom Wednesday morning to tell a judge he deserves a new trial.
Davis, 52, was convicted in August 2016 of shooting his wife in the head before chasing and gunning down his son in the garage of their Helm Drive home in September 2015. He was sentenced to two life terms without the possibility of parole for the murders. He is incarcerated at Valdosta State Prison.
Attorney Howard W. Anderson III contends that Davis was denied a fair trial because Attorney Terri Doepke provided ineffective counsel by not adequately preparing Davis to testify in his own defense. There is also a question about testimony by law enforcement allowed at the trial.
Doepke testified that she met with Davis numerous times and also discussed what his testimony would be with him. She said she advised him on such things as talking to the jury and not answering questions until objections were settled, but did not do any “mock” questioning.
Davis told the court Wednesday that he was not the shooter. He pointed the blame for the killings on his wife, saying she assaulted him and shot their son before turning the gun on herself after an argument.
He said Doepke rarely met with him and never prepared him to testify, telling Anderson, “We had not talked about it. She didn’t discuss anything with me about my case.”
Davis told Judge Samuel Ozburn, “I deserve a new trial. I’m begging you because Ms. Doepke did not do what she was supposed to do.”
Under cross-examination by Senior Assistant District Attorney Amber Bennett, Davis was unable to reconcile his version of events with the physical evidence presented at his original trial.
He also conceded that he told investigators during an interview in the aftermath of the shootings that he shot his wife and son.
A ruling on Davis’ motion for a new trial is expected this summer.