MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A judge is refusing to dismiss a murder charge against an Alabama inmate who has been held in jail for a decade without a trial, ruling there is no evidence that the state purposely or negligently delayed the case.
Kharon Davis was arrested in June 2007 in the shooting death of Pete Reaves in Dothan. He has been held without bail in the Houston County Jail since his arrest a decade ago, as the trial date got pushed back numerous times.
Davis' newest defense team asked a judge to dismiss the case, arguing an earlier judge allowed Davis to be represented for four years by an attorney who had a conflict of interest. Davis' first defense lawyer, Ben Meredith, was the father of a police investigator expected to testify in the case. Meredith was removed from the case in 2011.
Houston County Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton wrote Friday in a 22-page order and analysis that the state "reluctantly conceded" that the delay was problematic, but sided with state prosecutors who also said it did not merit dismissal.
"No evidence indicates that the potential conflict of interest of Mr. Meredith in any way contributed to the delay complained of by the defendant," Moulton said.
Moulton wrote that Davis knew about the conflict and kept the attorney.
The case sat largely dormant during those first four years with few defense filings during that timeframe, according to the court record.
The case goes to trial Sept. 18.