Jurors hear taped conversation in Davis-Saltzman trial

By By Taylor Prejean / American Press

Several family members and acquaintances took the stand Wednesday in the second-degree murder trial of Robyn Little Davis and Carol Noland Saltzman.

Jurors also watched the video-taped testimony of Davis’ son, Justin Little. Little’s testimony was perpetuated earlier this month because he is away for training after joining the Navy.

During the video, Little was asked about a conversation he had with his mother while she was incarcerated.

Davis and Saltzman were arrested in December 2009 after a Calcasieu Parish grand jury indicted them of first-degree murder in connection with Davis’ husband Brian’s death in 2009. The women were released on bond months later in exchange for dropping a speedy trial motion.

The conversation which a corrections official said occurred in the jail on Dec. 24, 2009, was recorded during a visit between Little and his mother.

Prosecutor Rick Bryant played only a short portion of the approximately 20-minute conversation to jurors on Wednesday.

Little could be heard asking Davis if she was the ”hardest criminal in there (the jail)”.

“They have people in here with way higher bonds than me and they didn’t even kill anybody,” Davis replied.

Under questioning from defense attorney Glen Vamvoras, Little said he knew his mother was joking and that it was by no means a confession to murder.

Little also said he felt that he and his sister were intimidated during a police interview after Brian Davis’ body was found.

“It felt like they (deputies) were picking on us ... trying to make us say something we didn’t know,” Little said.

Little also testified that Brian was a gun enthusiast who always carried a 9 millimeter pistol in his vehicle.

A firearms expert testified on Tuesday that the three bullets pulled from Davis’ body were consistent with 9 millimeter casings and live rounds found at the crime scene.

Little said he never saw his mother or Saltzman shoot a gun, but Bryant’s questioning suggested that Little’s sister told police that she had seen Saltzman handle a weapon before.

Little’s sister has not been called to the stand.

Earlier in the day, a woman said she had an affair with Brian Davis took the stand.

Fannie Dietz told jurors that she also worked with Brian in the Lafayette office of Union National Life Insurance. She described him as being ”flirtatious”.

She said that she and Brian would often meet during work hours in hotels, an apartment rented by Robyn’s son and even outdoors.

In opening statements on Friday, defense attorney Glen Vamvoras claimed that evidence would show that Brian Davis enjoyed having sex in remote wooded areas, much like the area off of Wagon Wheel Lane south of Lake Charles where his body was found on July 1, 2009.

Dietz said that at one point in the investigation, she lead a deputy to a remote area where she and Brian went fishing once. Vamvoras called the area Calcasieu Point, and said the location is off of Big Lake Road near where Davis body was found.

Under questioning from defense attorney Shane Hinch, Dietz said her ex-husband was upset when she broke the news of the affair, but she said she would not describe him as being “angry.”

Her ex-husband Steven Dietz took the stand later and said she told him about the affair after a counseling session. He said he filed for divorce shortly after.

Steven Dietz said his ex-wife did not admit that the affair was with Brian, but he found out through one of her friends that it was. He said he contacted Brian once to confirm that it was true, but he said he never threatened Brian in any way.

During opening statements, prosecutor Rick Bryant suggested that life insurance policies would play a role in the case.

Rance Little, Robyn Davis’ stepson, said his father, Andrew Little was married to Robyn for several years. Little said his father was killed in a car accident in March 2008, and Robyn was the beneficiary to his life insurance policy.

Little said he didn’t receive any of the insurance payout, and didn’t know how much the policy was worth.

“It was made to be none of my business. She (Robyn) just felt we didn’t need to know,” Little said.

Stephanie Wells, Saltzman’s former roommate, said she was at Robyn Davis’ home the day she was notified of Brian’s death.

Wells said Robyn was visibly upset when Calcasieu deputies notified her of Brian’s death.

She said she had been friends with Robyn and Brian Davis for a few years. She also mentioned that she went out with Robyn and Brian several times to play video poker at casinos in Lake Charles and Sulphur.

According to American Press archives, court documents say Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office detective Brent Young said insurance money was the motive for murder, and that Robyn Davis needed the funds to support an ”apparent video poker addiction”.

According to previous testimony, Young is the lead detective in the investigation into Brian Davis’ death. He has not yet been called to the stand.