Hancock County

Trial begins in slaying of Bay St. Louis businessman Maurice Colly

BAY ST. LOUIS -- On the first day of testimony in the murder trial of Glen Davis, jurors heard Maurice Colly had bindings wrapped around his hands and head, was placed in the trunk of his own car and died from blunt-force injuries and asphyxiation.

Glen Davis, 45, dubbed the "The Gulf Coast Casanova" in 2013 by the TV show "America's Most Wanted," entered the courtroom Tuesday morning dressed in a green button-down shirt and slacks. He took notes continuously as jurors heard opening statements and testimony from several witnesses.

Davis faces a life sentence without parole if convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Colly, a prominent Bay real estate developer. Colly's body was found in his car trunk the night of March 8, 2012.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel opened the trial by telling jurors how evidence will show Davis murdered Colly.

"There's overwhelming evidence that this defendant committed murder," Daniel said. "He had bound, beaten and killed a defenseless 83-year-old man."

Davis' attorney, Brian Alexander, discounted the strength of the case, saying prosecutors "don't have any evidence because Glen Davis is not guilty."

After five of the prosecution's witnesses had testified by Monday afternoon, a link between Davis and Colly's death had not yet been established.

For most of the day, jurors heard from Investigator Terrence Packer, who processed the crime scene for the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Packer testified fingerprints were lifted from inside Colly's green Toyota Camry, which was parked in the garage of his apartment on North Second Street. He did not say whose fingerprints they were.

Packer showed photos of Colly's body lying on a plastic tarp in the trunk of his car. Colly had tape wrapped around his wrists and a thick cloth binding wrapped around his head.

Under cross-examination, Davis' attorney asked Packer about a supposed hole cut out of a door leading to Colly's apartment. Police initially said Davis entered Colly's home by cutting the hole.

Packer, however, said neither he nor any other officers at the scene noticed the hole until later. He also said the inside of the apartment showed no signs of a struggle.

Dr. Mark Levaughn, the state's chief medical examiner, testified to the cause of Colly's death. He said Colly had fractures in his neck bones and bruises and hemorrhaging in his head, back and extremities.

Levaughn said Colly likely died from a combination of those injuries and suffocation, which may have been the result of the bindings around his head.

Colly had a sleeping mask over his eyes and a pillow case and painter's cloth over his head, all bound together with what appeared to be tape.

Surveillance footage from several banks at which someone used Colly's debit cards to withdraw money from ATMs failed to show the face of the person but did show someone was driving Colly's car.

Three bank employees, all internal security experts, testified to Colly's bank account activity between March 5 and March 9, 2012.

Hancock Bank's chief internal auditor, Michael Lafferty, told jurors someone called the bank March 5, 2012, and got the ATM withdrawl limits raised for Colly's checking account.

Lafferty did not say whether the caller was Colly or an impersonator.

The following day, a man driving Colly's car pulled up to an ATM and made three consecutive withdrawals from 10:12 to 10:14 a.m., totaling $1,400.

Additional transaction attempts with Colly's Keesler Federal Credit Union debit card were made that day at various banks in Hancock and Harrison counties. Not all were successful.

A fourth withdrawal was made March 9, 2012, at The First Bank in Gulfport.

Surveillance footage showed what looked like the same person driving Colly's car, but each time, the driver used the sun visor to conceal his face from the ATM cameras.

During his opening statement, nonetheless, the prosecutor told jurors evidence would tie the person in the video to a shirt found at Colly's home containing Davis' DNA.