The murder of Brian Davis, a Lake Charles man who was killed in 2009, will be the subject of an episode of “Killer Motive,” airing at 5 p.m. today on the Oxygen Network.
Robyn Little Davis, 58, and Carol Noland “Sissy” Saltzman, 56, were found guilty at trial in 2012 of the murder of Davis — whose body was found at the end of Wagon Wheel Road in south Lake Charles after he had been missing for four days.
The high-profile case — referred to by prosecutors at trial as the “Thelma and Louise” case in reference to the movie by the same name — has previously been the subject of several television programs, including “48 Hours,” “20/20” and “Deadly Sins.”
Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso and CPSO Det. Brent Young are featured in the episode as they discuss details of the homicide.
On the show, Young recalled Robyn Davis showing no emotion when notified of her husband’s death.
“Family members were trying to console her (Robyn) but she didn’t appear to need to be consoled,” Young said. “She was just stone-faced; no tears.”
In May of 2019, Judge David Ritchie denied a defense motion for a new trial after earlier hearings were held for the women who are serving life sentences after being convicted of second-degree murder in 2012.
Davis was shot four times and prosecutors said the scene was staged to look like the victim was robbed while changing the tire.
Former career prosecutor Rick Bryant prosecuted the case for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office and said at the time that the two women, working together, lured the victim to the scene to kill him for reasons including money, anger and opportunity.
“He had an affair, she (Robyn Davis) caught him in the affair, and confronted him about it,” Bryant said. “She had no money at all and yet she was out gambling and playing poker. Also, the insurance proceeds. He had over $700,000 in insurance. Saltzman was her friend. She and Robyn Davis were joined at the hip.”
The women were seeking a new trial claiming their previous defense attorneys were not given all evidence by the state as required by law. Davis and Saltzman were brought to court for previous hearings from the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women but were not in court for the most recent hearing.
Glen Vamvoras and Shane Hinch were the defense attorneys during the trial but both women were most recently being represented by Paul Barker, an attorney from Baton Rouge.
Ritchie, who was also the judge at trial and has overseen other hearings for the women in the post-conviction relief stage of their appeals, said in 2019 he had a “front-row seat” to the case because he had been involved with it from the pre-trial phase to the trial, sentencing and through the appeals process.
“I’m very, very familiar with this case,” said Ritchie.
Barker said at the most recent hearing in 2019 there were 23 items of newly-discovered evidence.
“But all of the evidence was previously known to the defense,” Ritchie said. “Mr. Barker seemed to feel that the evidence had to be provided and not just mentioned but the law doesn’t say that. If the state knows something and doesn’t mention that, it’s a Brady violation but that didn’t happen here. All of the evidence had been mentioned by the state.”
Ritchie, after the hearing, said he had reviewed all materials, memos from the state and defense, and listened to testimony from recent hearings.
“I’m denying the defense’s motion because I don’t find that any of this meets the standards required for what the defense was asking for,” he said.
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals of the defendants.