Crime

‘Gulf Coast Casanova’ loses appeal on murder conviction

Glen Joseph Davis is escorted into the Bay St. Louis Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, on charges in the murder of businessman Maurice Colly, 83. Colly was found dead at an apartment complex he owned on North Second Street on March 8, 2012.
Glen Joseph Davis is escorted into the Bay St. Louis Municipal Court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, August 22, 2012, on charges in the murder of businessman Maurice Colly, 83. Colly was found dead at an apartment complex he owned on North Second Street on March 8, 2012. amccoy@sunherald.com

A man known as the “Gulf Coast Casanova” lost an appeal on his murder conviction in the March 2012 death of an 83-year-old Bay St. Louis businessman.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the conviction of Glen Joseph Davis in the murder of Maurice Colly, a beloved Bay resident and devout member of the Main Street United Methodist Church.

Davis was dubbed the “Gulf Coast Casanova” when he was featured as a fugitive on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” because he was dating several women when Colly was killed. Davis was captured in Walker, Michigan, several months after the broadcast.

A Hancock County jury convicted Davis on Aug. 18, 2015. Circuit Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced him as a habitual offender, imposing a prison term of life in prison without the eligibility for early release. The jury believed testimony that Davis, who had done some work for Colly, killed him and stole his credit card, using it to withdraw cash at several bank ATMs.

Davis filed a pro se appeal, one representing himself, after Dodson denied his appeal for a new trial. In his appeal, Davis claimed his attorney failed to disclose a witness whose testimony, he believed, could have resulted in a different verdict.

“Based on our independent review of the record, we conclude that there are no issues that warrant reversal,” Judge Jack Wilson wrote for the majority appellate court opinion.

The court dismissed all claims with prejudice except for one, which means Davis has the right to file an appeal for post-conviction relief on that one issue. The Court of Appeals limits its focus on direct appeal to trial records, Wilson wrote.

The initial police detectives were fired. One was accused of making false statements to get a search warrant. One allegedly overlooked evidence in Colly’s home. Davis was first arrested on a capital murder charge.

Before Davis left town, he drove Colly’s car, wore his clothes and went to casinos and bars to party with different women, previous testimony showed.

Colly was found in the trunk of his car in the garage underneath his residence on March 8, 2012.

His wrists and ankles were bound. His head was wrapped in a pillow, a plastic bag and a painter’s cloth. An autopsy showed he died of blunt-force trauma to his face, scalp and shoulders about 48 hours earlier.

Colly was a real estate developer who grew up spending his summers at Lakeshore on family property and was an Army paratrooper during the Korean war.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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