Davis and Saltzman lose at Third Circuit - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Davis and Saltzman lose at Third Circuit

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The issue of whether convicted murderers Robyn Davis and Carol "Sissy" Saltzman got a fair trial now heads to the State Supreme Court.

That's since the Third Circuit affirmed their convictions in rulings made public Wednesday morning. Yet one judge disagreed and that gives the defense hope that they'll win at the next level.

It's a controversial case because there is no smoking gun. Instead, it's circumstantial evidence, and what prosecutor Rick Bryant considers a lot of it, that led a jury to find Robyn Davis and Saltzman guilty of the second-degree murder of Brian Davis.

"This jury came back in two hours. They didn't have any problem with the evidence in this case. I'm very disappointed that it seems like the media, the national media and other people, don't understand the sufficiency and the strength of this case. It's an overwhelmingly strong case. These two women committed this murder. I have no doubts in my mind," said Bryant.

Yet, attorneys who defended the women are just as adamant about their innocence.

"I don't think these women had anything to do with the death of Brian Davis," said Attorney Glen Vamvoras, who represents Robyn Davis. When asked why the jury convicted them, he responds, "Because of the compilation of errors that occurred in this case and things reached the jury box that should have never reached the jury box. The trial was not fair and it resulted in an unfair and unjust verdict."

They are disappointed with the Third Circuit's decision.

"I had expected them to reverse the conviction particularly in light of the questions that these judges were asking during oral argument. These seemed to be focusing on the issues and they seemed to be very concerned at a lack of facts to convict and that the procedural process was not fair," said Vamvoras.

Shane Hinch also argues the evidence in insufficient. 

"There was nothing brought forth at the trial that would show that Sissy Saltzman or Robyn Davis had anything to do with the murder of Brian Davis. There was innuendo, there were some inconsistent statements with  regard to the two women that were taken out of context," he said.

The defense attorneys say the women should at least get a new trial one of three appeal court judges, John Conery agreed.

Hinch said it was wrong for the judge to postpone swearing of the jury when it became apparent the prosecutor was going to be too ill to continue when the trial started the first time.

"The judge in this case should have, the law says that he shall swear the jury. He didn't. Judge Conery got it right when he said, 'Shall means it's mandatory.' Right then. Not a week later, not a month later, not five and a half months later. So, that is not a technicality. That is a right. We had a right to that particular jury. The law said that the judge shall now swear the jury together to try the case. That did not happen. The case should be overturned," said Hinch.

Still, Bryant said the jury got it right and so did the appeal court.

"The timeline was critical. The cell phone information goes with that, we have video taped evidence, we have reactions of these two women claiming they're home when they're actually pinging off towers in Cameron Parish. We have so much evidence that the public has not seen that the jury did see that convinces me and would convince anyone if I had 20 minutes to sit down and talk with them that the defendants are guilty beyond any reasonable doubt," said Bryant.

He said if circumstantial cases were not allowed, more people would get away with murder.

"We don't have, quote, the smoking gun. That's what a circumstantial evidence case is. You don't have an eyewitness. You don't have a confession.You don't have DNA evidence. But the law recognizes that those happen sometimes.  You get a murder that people try to cover their trail. And we could do one of two things. Say, 'Oh, it's too hard to go to court on.' Or we can prosecute and  we did it in this case and the jury was fantastic, they came back with a very quick decision and  they were impressed with the evidence just as we were," said Bryant.

Davis and Saltzman are serving life in prison. Defense attorneys say the dissent from Judge John Conery makes it likely the Louisiana Supreme Court will take up the case. To read the Third Circuit Ruling click here.

A third national TV show is expected to be here filming a story on the case this weekend.

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