Davis found guilty of murder in double shooting

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Greyling Dwayne "Beany" Davis faces a recommended sentence of life in prison with an additional 51 years, and a combined $302,500 in fines

By Shaina Stockton


INDEPENDENCE — Greyling Dwayne “Beany” Davis faces a recommended sentence to life in prison, after being found guilty in the 2016 double shooting that killed Karen Cates, and wounded David Patton.
The jury deliberated Friday evening for two hours, before returning guilty verdicts for first-degree murder, two counts of abduction, one count of malicious shooting, one count of malicious firing of a weapon in an occupied dwelling, and one count of violating a protective order.
After another hour of deliberating, the jury recommended a sentence of life in prison and a fine of $100,000 for the murder conviction; a combined 20 years in prison for the two abduction charges; 10 years in prison and $100,000 for the firearm discharge conviction; 20 years in prison and $100,000 for the malicious shooting of David Patton; and 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine for violation of the protective order.
Davis was convicted by a jury of his peers Friday evening, immediately following a rigorous three-day trial in Grayson County Circuit Court. The trial itself included testimonies from a number of witnesses from the Commonwealth and the defense.
Witness testimonies gave light to incidents that occurred at Cates’ home in the Fairview community, on the evening of March 19 and the morning of March 20, 2016. Combined testimonies from both prosecution and defense discussed Davis’s visit to Cates’ residence, where he saw her with Patton on the evening of March 19.
During his own testimony, Davis confirmed that he returned to the residence the next morning with a gun, went inside, argued with Cates and Patton, and fired the gun, killing Cates and wounding Patton.
Davis maintained throughout his testimony that Cates’ death was accidental, and that he’d shot Patton because he was coming towards him.
Patton testified for the Commonwealth that Davis forced him inside Cates’ trailer at gunpoint on the morning of March 20, hit Cates with the gun before forcing her into the bedroom with Patton and himself, argued with Cates, and hit her again with the gun, causing it to go off.
Patton also testified that he was shot and wounded by Davis.
Davis was defended by attorney Jonathon Venzie, who argued on his behalf that the crimes that took place were crimes of passion, and not premeditated, as a first-degree murder charge suggests.
Commonwealth’s Attorney, Doug Vaught argued that their evidence presented to the jury showed proof of malice and premeditation; one example being that Davis returned to the residence, knowingly in violation of a protective order, while illegally brandishing a firearm.
A pre-sentencing report will be prepared, and a sentencing hearing for Davis has been scheduled for March 15 in the circuit court, beginning at 9 a.m.
In addition to the testimonies, the trial was uniquely complicated throughout its duration with the arrival of a surprise snow storm on Wednesday evening — pushing the conclusion of the jury selection to 1 p.m., according to court officials — and a lockdown of the courthouse Thursday following the delivery of a mysterious package — an incident that was confirmed to be unrelated to the trial.
A detailed report of the trial will be featured in Monday's Gazette.