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Keith Davis Jr. Sentenced to 50 Years in Controversial Case

Mary Rose Madden

A Baltimore Circuit Judge sentenced Keith Davis Jr. to the maximum 50 years in prison Monday for the 2015 murder of Kevin Jones, a Pimlico Security guard.

Davis was arrested in a garage after being shot by police, who recovered a gun that was used in the murder earlier that day of Jones, the security guard.

A jury convicted Davis last summer of second degree murder and possession of a handgun in his fourth trial in a case that has unified activists with Davis’ family. That was his fourth trial in the case. Two earlier trials ended in hung juries and a conviction was overturned in another.

Prior to pronouncing the sentence, Judge Sylvester Cox, who sat on the trial that lead to Davis’ conviction, denied the defense’s request for a new trial.

He conceded that much of the evidence was circumstantial, but said it still was evidence. And he told a packed courtroom there were “too many darn trials” in this case.

He also commented that two families were destroyed: those of Jones and Davis.

Davis spoke at the sentencing and maintained his innocence. He first told Jones' family that he was "terribly sorry for their loss," but that he did not kill him. 

"One day, the truth will be revealed," he said. 

His wife, Kelly Davis, has four children and two of them spoke on behalf of Davis. One child, thirteen years old, spoke about the "nightmare" that began roughly five years ago. He said Davis is "the only father we know." 

The other child, fourteen, spoke about the letters Davis sends them from jail. 

Credit Mary Rose Madden / wypr
Kelly Davis, Keith Davis Jr.'s wife, outside Baltimore Circuit Court after her husband's sentencing.

And then their mom spoke. Kelly Davis said she loves her husband but that she is also his harshest critic. With that, she told Judge Cox that she believed wholeheartedly in his innocence. 

"This has been a travesty of justice," she said. 

Outside the courthouse, she told reporters that she'd been prepared for this outcome. 

"My expectations were low," she said. "I spent the last week reviewing [Judge Cox's] cases when he was a former prosecutor... He has a reputation of being conservative." 

Davis' attorney, Deborah Katz Levi says she will file an appeal. 

Mary Rose is a reporter and senior news producer for 88.1 WYPR FM, a National Public Radio member station in Baltimore. At the local news desk, she assigns stories, organizes special coverage, edits news stories, develops series and reports.
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