Verdict expected today in killing at store on Clay

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A verdict was expected today in the 9th Circuit Court trial of a man accused of killing a father of three last year during what his attorney says was an ongoing feud.

Jason Jeobari Davis, 22, 125 Lee Circle, is accused of killing Thaddeus Jeffery, 21, outside the Exxon Jubilee Store at Clay Street and Mission 66 on Sept. 2, 2007.

Among the witnesses testifying Tuesday in the opening day of court before Judge Frank Vollor were three people also at the convenience store on the night of the shooting. Two testified for the prosecution and one for the defense.

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At least one Vicksburg police detective and Dr. Steven Hayne, who performed the autopsy, were among others testifying.

“The defendant has indicated there was an ongoing feud and the crime was done in self-defense,” District Attorney Ricky Smith said Tuesday evening, predicting jurors would be allowed to decide the case today. “We do not agree that it was self-defense, nor do we agree with the defendant’s characterization of Mr. Jeffery.”

Jeffery died about an hour after he was shot multiple times outside the gas station. Davis surrendered 12 hours after the shooting.

At the time of his death, Jeffery was awaiting trial for two felonies, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of cocaine.  

Davis had no felony convictions on his record.

“Our position is simple,” said Michael Winfield, Davis’ attorney. “My client acted in self-defense of his life and we hope the jury will see that and find him not guilty.”

He said the killing followed a months-long feud between the two.

To obtain a murder conviction all 12 jurors must return a guilty verdict. If convicted Davis will receive life in prison.