Hancock County

Jury finds Davis guilty of murder in Bay St. Louis man's death

BAY ST. LOUIS -- A Hancock County jury found Glen Davis guilty of murder Tuesday, concluding the end of a six-day trial and three-year saga following the 2012 slaying of Bay businessman Maurice Colly.

The jury returned a unanimous verdict after deliberating for about two hours, prompting Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson to proceed with sentencing.

Dodson ruled Davis, the so-called "Gulf Coast Casanova," a habitual offender and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Davis had five prior felony convictions from his home state of Michigan, Assistant District Attorney Chris Daniel said.

Police discovered the 83-year-old Colly dead in the trunk of his car parked in his garage on March 8, 2012. He was bound by his hands and head.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be multiple blunt force trauma injuries and asphyxiation.

Davis was captured months later in Michigan following a broadcast by the TV show "America's Most Wanted," which dubbed him the "Gulf Coast Casanova" because of the multiple women he was dating at the time.

Prior to sentencing, the judge allowed Colly's nephew, Wally Colly, to address the court.

Wally Colly said his uncle was a graduate of Ole Miss and a veteran who served in the Korean War.

"His life was ended prematurely by the brutal actions of his assailant," he said. "Maurice Colly's killer must never be allowed a chance to be free and kill again."

The six-day trial was not without its share of twists and turns.

The defense appeared to gain control early on after cross examination of the lead detective revealed two senior detectives had been removed from the case and later lost their jobs.

Those investigators had initially suspected and arrested two of Colly's neighbors, one of whom had a significant criminal history that included an unrelated murder charge.

The neighbors were eventually cleared of any involvement, but Davis' attorney, Brian Alexander, spent several days underscoring questionable practices by law enforcement in the case.

The defense appeared to lose its edge, however, after Davis took the stand in his own defense Monday.

"Any doubt that had been established was gone once he took the stand," Sheriff Ricky Adam said.

Other twists came Friday when several procedural issues unfolded, including the dismissal of a juror and a near mistrial.

That afternoon, Alexander informed prosecutors he intended to call a rebuttal witness who planned to testify Otis Stewart, one of Colly's neighbors and initial suspects, supposedly had some significant link to Colly.

However, prosecutors had not known of Alexander's plans ahead of time, prompting the judge to consider declaring a mistrial or issuing a continuance to allow prosecutors time to prepare for the new witness.

The state argued against both of those options and asked the judge to strike the witness, which Dodson eventually did.

Nevertheless, that decision came after a juror bumped into the witness during lunch.

The juror told the judge she had a brief conversation with the witness after the two realized they knew each other, a factor Dodson appeared to weigh heavily when dismissing the juror.

Second Circuit assistant district attorneys Chris Daniel and Matthew Burrell tried the case.

The Bay St. Louis Police Department, Hancock County Sheriff's Office, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals and the Kent County Sheriff's Office of Michigan took part in the investigation.