Charges in Davis killing amended to second degree murder - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Charges in Davis killing amended to second degree murder

It's an unusual case because of its complexity and the lack of physical evidence-- but the two women accused of murdering Brian Davis in June 2009 are expected to stand trial this year.

Davis was found shot to death Wednesday, July 1, 2009 next to his truck off Big Lake Road. The 39 year old man worked for an insurance company.

In the months to come investigators would conclude that Davis was murdered by his wife, Robyn Davis and her close friend Carol Saltzman.

The women were charged with first degree murder but prosecutor Rick Bryant says they have decided to try them for second degree murder instead. "We amended the charge from first degree to second degree simply because since we're not seeking capital punishment in the first degree murder charge, the penalty is the same, life in prison. So, we felt the elements of second degree murder are more all encompassing, they're not as specific. Basically, we think it will be easier to prove to the jury and that's the reason we amended it to second degree murder. It's just a tactical decision on our part."

 Bryant won't discuss evidence in the case but he admits it's unusual because it's based on circumstantial evidence, "which is not like somebody saw it or somebody heard about it or you have DNA. And when you don't have those types of things in a case they're called circumstantial evidence cases and they're very rare, they're difficult cases."

 The fact that the case is unusual and complex may be part of the reason at least one national news outlet has expressed interest in covering the case. "They call us all the time and ask us when it's coming up so I assume they're still going to follow this particular case."

According to court records Robyn Davis had a gambling addiction and was the beneficiary of a $645,000 life insurance policy-- yet attorneys representing her and her alleged accomplice say the women did not commit the murder. At this point the trial is to begin November 7th.

Davis's bond was $100,000 while Saltzman's bond was $50,000.  At last word both Davis and Saltzman had been released from the Calcasieu Correctional Center on Bond.

People with the CBS show 48 Hours have indicated they plan to cover the case.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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