Appeal filed for Davis, Saltzman murder convictions

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

Robyn Little Davis and Carol Saltzman’s attorneys appealed the women’s murder convictions to a higher court Monday.

Davis and Saltzman were convicted in

April 2012 in state district court of second-degree murder in the

slaying of Davis’ husband,

Brian Davis.

His body was found on Wagon Wheel Road in Big Lake. He had been shot four times: once in the chest, twice in the back and

once in the head.

In their filings with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal, defense attorneys Glen Vamvoras and Shane Hinch list nine errors they

believe the lower court committed.

“We truly believe that the trial was so

error-plagued and unfair that the court of appeals will address those

errors and overturn

the conviction or remand it back for a new trial in accordance

with fair procedure,” Vamvoras said.

The case was set for trial in November 2011. A jury was selected and testimony from one witness who would not be available

during the trial had been recorded, but prosecutor Rick Bryant became ill.

When proceedings resumed in April 2012, the jury was released and a new jury selected.

Vamvoras and Hinch claim that the jury should have been sworn in when it was initially selected on the afternoon of Nov. 10,

2011.

They also say that when the first expert was sworn in on Nov. 9, 2011 — at which time 24 items were entered into evidence

— double jeopardy should have commenced.

The law says that in a jury trial, double jeopardy begins when the jury is sworn in, but that in a bench trial, double jeopardy

begins when the first witness is sworn in.

“It was done out of order here, and we’re saying because there was an adverse witness called and items entered into evidence,

there was double jeopardy,” Vamvoras said.

He said that the months-long delay was prejudiced against Davis and Saltzman because it allowed the prosecution to strengthen

its case.

In his appeal, he calls the case “an error-plagued travesty of justice.”

The nine issues Vamvoras and Hinch ask the appeals court to address:

1. Whether the initial jurors should have been immediately sworn in once all were selected.

2. and 3. After the months-long delay, whether the trial court should have found prejudice and quashed or dismissed the charges.

4. Whether the trial court should have granted double jeopardy because a witness had been sworn in.

5.

Whether the prosecution should have revealed its theory of how the

murder was carried out before closing and rebuttal arguments.

6. Whether the evidence was sufficient to convict Davis and Saltzman of murder. They were convicted on circumstantial evidence,

much of which revolved around their cellphone records.

7. Whether the testimony of cellphone expert William Shute should have been allowed. Vamvoras and Hinch said Shute’s method

of historical cell site analysis is not scientific.

8. Whether the testimony of crime scene reconstructionist George Schiro should have been allowed. Schiro testified that, in

his opinion, Davis was shot all four times by the same gun, probably his own 9 mm handgun, which was never found.

9. Whether the women’s Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendment rights were violated because it was not a unanimous verdict.