Davis murder suspects out on bond

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Two women facing first degree murder charges in the killing of Brian Davis were to appear in court on Friday.  But prior to court, prosecutors and defense attorneys reached a compromise of sorts and Judge David Ritchie set bond and conditions of release.

The July murder of Brian Davis seems to have all the makings of a John Grisham novel.  Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree it's an unusual and complex case.  Both sides are tight lipped about the facts, yet some details are starting to emerge.

It was last June and Brian Davis had supposedly been trying to buy a boat.  He was last seen by his wife on June 29th, a Monday.  She reported him missing on Tuesday.  Then he's found shot to death Wednesday, July 1 next to his truck off Big Lake Road.  Investigators worked round the clock to find out what happened to this 39 year old man who worked for an insurance company.  But by December investigators had concluded it was Davis' wife Robyn who killed her husband along with an accomplice, Carol "Sissy" Saltzman.  Each are charged with first degree murder.  Prosecutor Rick Bryant says that's because Brian Davis was robbed.  "He had personal items with him at the time that were taken. I would note that we're not seeking the death penalty in this case, so there's not much difference between first and second degree murder in terms of the penalty but the grand jury chose to indict for first degree murder in this case."

Bryant and defense attorneys agree it's an unusual case which has already produced a massive record just in the investigative phase. But Bryant says he can't give details.  "I can't. It is very unique case, from my perspective, having tried cases for some 25 or 30 years. It's a very complex, complicated case. It's a very unusual case but by the same token I'm not going to get into any of the facts or circumstances surrounding the case. It would prejudice the state's case."

According to court records Robyn Davis had a gambling addiction and was the beneficiary of a $645,000 life insurance policy.  Still, defense attorney Glen Vamvoras says she didn't do it."It's anybody's guess what happened to this man. The facts are certainly not clear. They're very, very, very disturbing facts and complicated fact but as regards to our clients, we did not commit the murder."

Alleged accomplice Carol  Saltzman's attorney is Shane Hinch. "The state has provided approximately 3000 pages worth of documents, 47 CD's and DVD's, none of which seem to provide any basis or motive that my client Carol Saltzman had any reason for wanting the victim dead."

Both women have been released from jail on bond.  At this point Robyn Davis and Carol "Sissy" Saltzman are set for trial March 1, but with pre-trial motions expected the trial is not likely to get underway that soon.

Watch later editions of 7 News and check kplctv.com for more information on this story.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.