Monday, September 22, 2008

Should Davis Receive a Stay? Yes, Says Defense Attorney Gray

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Attorney Carol Gray, who assisted the Troy Davis defense team by interviewing and taking statements from key witnesses, is urging that Davis' Tuesday 7PM death sentence be stayed to allow time to interview a critical witness to the murder who has never been spoken to by the prosecution or defense.

Gray had done extensive investigation of the Davis case including interviewing and taking a statement from a lead prosecution witness, Dorothy Ferrell, who claimed at trial that she saw Davis shoot Officer Timothy MacPhail in 1989. Ferrell recanted this testimony to Gray and signed a statement admitting that she never saw who killed the officer but had been pressured to identify Davis by the police, who were threatening to revoke her parole if she did not cooperate.

Gray reports that "there is a critical witness who has never been spoken to by the prosecution or the defense."

According to Gray, "Davis was convicted of killing Officer Timothy MacPhail in 1989. The shooting happened in the parking lot of a Burger King across from a motel called The Thunderbird. Two of the people in that parking lot were Troy Davis and Sylvester Coles. Coles went to the police department the day after the shooting saying that Davis shot the officer. In the decade that followed, Coles confessed to several people that it was he (Coles) who shot the officer. In addition, 7 of the 9 witnesses from trial who testified against Davis have recanted their testimony."

"But no one has spoken with perhaps the best witness of all: the clerk at the motel across from the Burger King parking lot. According to another witness, the clerk screamed when the shooting happened. Her office had a large window facing the lot, so she likely saw the shooting. There is a way to find her: subpoena the tax records for that motel for the year Officer MacPhail was killed. State and federal tax records for the Thunderbird should have this woman listed as an employee, along with her social security number. She can be located.

"Tomorrow's execution should be stayed and this critical witness should be found," Gray concluded.

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