Last Modified: Monday, October 08, 2012 2:43 PM
The legal issues and the individuals involved are what drew “48 Hours” to feature a local murder trial, a show correspondent said.
Tonight’s episode, “Friends for Life,” which will air at 9 p.m. on CBS, will focus on Robyn Little Davis’ and Carol Noland Saltzman’s second-degree murder trial.
The two women were convicted in May of shooting to death Davis’ husband, Brian Davis, whose bullet-riddled body was found off Wagon Wheel Lane in Big Lake in 2008.
Prosecutors built their case around circumstantial evidence, including cell phone records, which “makes the case fascinating and scary at the same time,” said Erin Moriarty, “48 Hours” correspondent.
“There isn’t a lot of evidence to tie them to it, on the other hand, there aren’t a lot of other explanations of what could have happened to Brian,” she said.
Jurors handed down an 11-1 guilty verdict, which will be discussed on the show since Louisiana is one of only two states that don’t require a unanimous decision for a guilty verdict, Moriarty said.
“In most other states there would have been a mistrial, they would have gone home,” she said.
Moriarty, a lawyer, said that the case is the second in Lake Charles that she has covered for “48 Hours” — the other was Wilbert Rideaux.
She interviewed Davis and Saltzman, as well friends and family members of theirs, as well as prosecutor Rick Bryant, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso and defense attorney Glen Vamvoras.
“It’s a very interesting mix of individuals as well as issues,” Moriarty said.
Moriarty said her interviews with Davis and Saltzman were particularly interesting.
“We examine the case but you can’t examine it without meeting the two defendants,” she said. “I’ve never quite met two murder defendants like Robyn and Sissy. They were very open with me and they allowed me, before trial, to do a full interview.”
She said during her interview with Bryant, she said him, “Come on, they really don’t look or seem” like murderers.
“What does a murder suspect look like?” she said Bryant replied.
Moriarty said she agrees with that, but “when you spend time with them, it is very difficult to believe these two women set out to cold-heartedly kill Robyn’s husband. “Motive aside, it’s just hard to believe.”
She said the case will also focus on the cell phone records.
“Even the cell phone evidence didn’t absolutely pinpoint their location, but it was enough to raise questions about their stories and that ultimately becomes very important,” Moriarty said.
“We now see cell phone evidence being used in nearly every case. Even though it is not digital DNA, jurors sometimes treat it as much.”
Posted By: Justice for Brian On: 10/25/2012
Title: Truth in the Press
Well, Mr. Shane K. Hinch you should also state that 48 Hours also left out a TON of information making your client look innocent when it was proven that she is in fact GUILTY. They didn't question the "girls" (as your co-counsel insists on calling these cold-hearted women) about FACTS. 48 Hours did not provide FACTS. And if you want to go on the record of who they interviewed, they also interview Brian's brother. So, who cares that American Press left your name off?
Posted By: Justice On: 10/10/2012
Title: JUSTICE DENIED
After watching the case presented on 48 hrs, in my opinion the case totally lacked evidence that resulted in two women being convicted of murder. This trail was truly mis directed and the jurors did not do their community any justice by rendering a verdict based on assumption and speculation not EVIDENCE. The lawyers should have done their best to prove the crime could have possibly been committed by someone other than the women, for example (His Mistresses). I hope the family and friends of these two women fight to the end to clear them. The community itself should speak out on this one. This is a true case of lack of evidence and justice denied.
Posted By: sonja On: 10/7/2012
Title: Not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
I find it very hard to believe they were convicted. The prosecution said it was suspicious that Robyn tried to cash in on the life insurance policies "only" 2 weeks after Bryan died. Well my husband died, and I was told by the funeral hombelievthat I had 30 days to pay for the funeral costs for my husband so I HAD to contact the insurance company to get the paperwork started so I could pay. And I did it in less than 2 weeks.... my husband wasn't murdered.Secondly, in a rural area like we live in, we don't have the amount of cellphone towers that bigger cities have. The defense had people do a test with cellphones, and just as Cissy's phone did, the signals bounced to a tower further than the one they were closest to. It depends on the tower.... if the closest tower is recieving multiple signals, it will bounce signals to another tower. The judge would NOT allow this to be heard in court. NExt....I heard 2 of the women on the jury speak on the show, and they both stated that other than the cell record, there wasn't really any evidence. I dont know about anyone else, but my understanding of the law is that you have to be found guilty "beyond a resonible doubt" to be convicted. Apparently they were not instructed properly by the court before being sent into deliberation. Congratulations to the judge and prosectors in Lake Charles.... apparently you wanted your 5 minutes of fame with a big case.... and you got it. Sadly you make Lake Carles look like a bunch of small town coona**es that don't know their head from a hole in the ground. I believe 2 women are wrongfully convicted. And really??? They never even questioned the husband of the whore he was having an affair with? OMG. There are so many issues with this case it is ridiculous....... I hope the appeals court does the right thing and overturns the verdict so they can get a FAIR trial at some point......
Posted By: Roni24 On: 10/7/2012
Title: 2nd degree?
If this happened the way the prosecution outlined this was 1st degree murder not 2nd. I think a verdict should be unanimous like the majority of the states require. Louisiana definitely does things there own way. A mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for 2nd degree murder? What does that leave for 1st degree murder; a mandatory death sentence. Very odd legal system.
Posted By: Shane K. Hinch On: 10/6/2012
Title: Truth in the press
My name is Shane K Hinch I was lead counsel for Carol N Saltzman. The American Press has to be the single worst periodical with regard to providing well written articles grounded in the full truth. This article mentions that only Rick Bryant, Sheriff Mancuso and Glen Vamvoras were interviewed. This is factually incorrect. I was interviewed in my capacity as lead counsel for Carol N. Saltzman. This was omitted from the article. This should be corrected immediately.