Davis, Saltzman get life sentences for 2009 murder

Published: Aug. 24, 2012 at 2:14 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a year and two months since the body of Brian Davis was found at the end of a lonely road near the Intracoastal Waterway. Today his wife and her best friend were sentenced to life in prison for his murder.

However, Robyn Davis and Carol "Sissy" Saltzman continue to claim they are innocent.

In June 2009, the body of Brian Davis was found at the end of Wagon Wheel Road south of Lake Charles.  He had been shot to death at a scene prosecutors say had been staged to look like he had been robbed while changing a tire.

Prosecutor Rick Bryant said working in concert, the women lured Davis to the secluded area to kill him for reasons including money, anger and opportunity.

"He had had an affair, she caught him in the affair, she confronted him about the affair. Number two, she had no money at all yet she was out gambling, video poker. We showed her bank records, overdrafts, overdraws. Also, the insurance proceeds. He had over $700,000 in insurance proceeds. Saltzman was her friend. She and Robyn Davis were joined at the hip," said Bryant.

Before being sentenced, Davis and Saltzman spoke,  each insisting they are innocent. Robyn Davis told the court they had nothing to do with the murder, vowing to hold her head high and fight for freedom.

Saltzman said they will have no peace or comfort until the true killers are found. Their attorneys predict what they call a serious injustice will rectified by on appeal.

Glen Vamvoras represents Robyn Davis. "The state has to put on sufficient evidence and they didn't do it in this case and so they're innocent because of that, " said Vamvoras.

Shane Hinch is Saltzman's attorney. "It's hard to find any evidence that Sissy Saltzman or Robyn Davis did anything more than have inconsistent statements to the police which is not enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone committed a crime."

Earlier during the sentencing, Brian Davis's mother gave a victim impact statement saying she cries everyday because she misses her son so much.  She told the court that his unfaithfulness to a woman who did not love him didn't make him a bad person.

Brian's brother Scott says,  in a way, Brian's kind heart and willingness to help is what led to his demise.  "He loans his car to Sissy. He allows her to use it because her car is supposedly broken down. He gets a call while he's shopping for boats with Robyn the next morning that Sissy's broke down, down this road. We have to go help her because she's broke down. She's a woman, she's our friend. We need to go help her fix your car's flat tire. And we all know it was no more flat than it was full. It stayed inflated the entire time during the entire trial."

Davis says his brother's death has been devastating to his family, though the sentences bring some relief.

"As much closure as can be garnered from a loved one being murdered. I'd say it's more an end of one chapter and the beginning of another chapter of our lives," Scott Davis said. "How do we move on without Brian. How do we preserve his memory? How do we best live the rest of our lives without our loved one?"

In sentencing the women to life in prison, Judge David Ritchie told them theirs was a senseless act of selfishness for their own gain--and that there was sufficient evidence to support the guilty verdict against both of them.

Second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence.  The women will serve time without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

The woman have two years during which to file for post conviction relief. Davis and Saltzman are expected to be sent to a women's prison at St. Gabriel.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.