MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Lawyers for an Alabama man who has been held in jail for a decade without a trial will ask a judge to dismiss murder charges against him, arguing that his constitutional right to speedy trial has been violated by the years of delay in the case.
A judge has scheduled a Tuesday hearing on the motion to dismiss murder charges against Kharon Davis of Dothan. Davis was arrested in 2007 in the shooting death of Pete Reaves. Davis has been held without bond in the Houston County Jail since his arrest as his trial date has been repeatedly been pushed back.
Defense lawyers wrote in the motion that the court caused "over four years of down time in this case" by failing to resolve a conflict with the first defense lawyer. Davis' first defense lawyer was the father of an investigating police officer who was likely to be a prosecution witness. Defense lawyer Tommy Goggans wrote that the conflict was known to the court in 2007. Another judge removed the lawyer in 2011.
"It took over four years for the conflict to addressed and resolved. This delay should not fall upon Davis but upon the government," Goggans wrote.
Prosecutors oppose the motion to dismiss. They say Davis contributed to the delay because he fired a replacement lawyer who had been appointed by the court. .
"The length of delay in this matter is justifiable and attributable to Davis. Davis has failed to show any purposeful delay on behalf of the state, and he has failed to show how he has been prejudiced by any delay," prosecutors wrote.
Davis' mother, Chrycynthia Ward Davis, told The Associated Press earlier this year that her son dismissed the replacement lawyer because he was not communicating with her son and they were frustrated by the postponements he requested.