Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Lawyer charged with not returning diamond ring found in parking lot

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 12:33 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 1:31 AM
  • Follow Crime & courts

An Augusta lawyer surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning on a felony charge in connection with a lost diamond ring.

Davis  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
Davis


Alexia Dawn Davis, 31, surrendered at the Colum­bia Coun­ty Deten­tion Center on a charge of theft of lost or mislaid property, according to Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris. Davis was booked into jail Tuesday morning and released after posting a $2,500 bond, Morris said.

Davis, an attorney in the Office of the Public Defender in Augusta, is accused of not returning a diamond ring she found in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel restaurant Feb. 7.

Jane G. Prater, 62, of Thomson, reported the ring missing Feb. 12. She told deputies that she lost the ring, worth about $10,500, in the parking lot about 7 p.m. Feb. 7. A server at the restaurant said a woman who was with Davis went inside and asked what to do if she found a ring.

“(The) woman opted not to leave it with Cracker Barrel with the manager in control of lost and found and made a comment that it would be reported to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office,” Morris said. “And it never was.”

Morris published surveillance video from the restaurant in hopes of identifying the woman Feb. 19. The same day, nearly two weeks after the ring was lost, Davis took the ring to Richmond County authorities.

A warrant was issued for Davis for theft of lost or mislaid property. The charge is a felony because the ring is worth more than $1,500, Morris said. He said that by law, when “a person comes into control of property that they know to be lost or mislaid, they must take reasonable measures to restore the property to its owner.”

“That did not occur in this case,” Morris said.

Katherine Mason, the public defender for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, said she’s not allowed to comment on personnel matters.

Tanya Jeffords, one of four attorneys representing Davis, released a statement on behalf of her client Tuesday:

“No matter what shadow the Sheriff and the District Attorney’s office tries to cast upon Ms. Davis’ impeccable reputation and her motives, the legal fact is that she did not appropriate the ring for her own use, which is the crime this statute is intending to cover. When she learned who the owner was through the postings online from the Sheriff’s office, she promptly turned it in. She knew it was valuable but she had neither sold it nor wore the ring as if it was hers.”

Paula Frederick, the general counsel for the Georgia Bar Association, said no disciplinary action will be taken against Davis unless she is convicted.

“If she is convicted of a crime, that is a violation of the rules of professional conduct,” said Frederick, who does not know the details of Davis’ case.

Frederick said that if Davis is convicted, the bar association will ask the Georgia Supreme Court, which has the authority to discipline lawyers, for an “appropriate discipline.” If Davis is convicted of a felony, Frederick said, the bar association would likely ask for Davis to be disbarred.

Comments (67)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
rmwhitley
5081
Points
rmwhitley 02/26/13 - 02:13 pm
1
0

lowyers!

Unpublished

Wonder why the profession has such a shady reputation?

just an opinion
2123
Points
just an opinion 02/26/13 - 02:29 pm
9
4

Lawyers

They should be required to take an ethics class in law school. The "profession" is just getting worse. The good ones should do something about this.

onethickdiva
1558
Points
onethickdiva 02/26/13 - 02:39 pm
2
18

It states in the article that

It states in the article that "A server at the restaurant said a woman who was with Davis came inside and asked what to do if she found a ring." Am I to understand that Davis did not have possession of the ring at first but was the one to bring it to authorities? In either case, finders keepers, losers weepers.

GiantsAllDay
8112
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/26/13 - 02:44 pm
2
1

I was wondering whether or

I was wondering whether or not if the woman who was with her (the one that asked the question) is in any way responsible.

GiantsAllDay
8112
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/26/13 - 02:47 pm
4
3

Anyone want to bet?

If this is her first offense, she will skate. (dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor)

john
783
Points
john 02/26/13 - 02:54 pm
2
9

a felony?

Really? for holding on to something you find in the parking lot? Maybe the owner should take better care of her stuff. I mean Id try and find the owner, but I dont think it rises to this level.

Little Lamb
40136
Points
Little Lamb 02/26/13 - 03:17 pm
8
4

Theft of lost or mislaid property

Our lawmakers will keep on going until they've made everything a crime.

my.voice
4194
Points
my.voice 02/26/13 - 03:24 pm
10
1

So.... The woman's (who was

So....
The woman's (who was arrested) friend made the inquiry - Is not that a conspiracy? Why wasn't the friend also arrested?

Why would they report it to Richmond County if this occurred in Columbia County?

Will she get a public defender?

This will go nowhere, but its a shame people are this selfish and dishonest.

To the earlier poster about ethics classes.........Unfortunately, ethics cant be "taught". This is ground level ethics. And FINDERS-KEEPERS doesn't apply in the adult world.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 02/26/13 - 03:29 pm
4
12

If the ring was worth SO

Unpublished

If the ring was worth SO MUCH, how did it end up in the parking lot?
A frivilous case.....and I have my guesses as to why.

Usually when you turn something in, you are given a reward, not a mugshot and a bail.

I wish this young lady luck.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 02/26/13 - 03:41 pm
11
3

I guess I'm going to get rid

Unpublished

I guess I'm going to get rid of my metal detector. I mean if I can get arrested for finding things that people lost, what's the point?

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 02/26/13 - 03:42 pm
7
0

Cracker Barrel patrons with

Cracker Barrel patrons with rings worth 10 G's ? WOW! Love their country-fried steak and sweet tea btw.

Dixieman
10350
Points
Dixieman 02/26/13 - 03:48 pm
15
1

No...

...not all lawyers are like this. Very poor judgment. Frankly, I did not know about the law concerning "lost or mislaid" property myself. And the role of the companion is a bit confusing too. On this one I reserve judgment until more facts come out. (And, yes, I am a lawyer).

just an opinion
2123
Points
just an opinion 02/26/13 - 04:12 pm
18
1

Lawyers

An officer of the court is supposed to conduct themselves slightly higher than what the law requires. Finders keepers? Really? How about ethical behavior? Moral compass? Character? Honesty? Etc. If I am having to explain this to you then you are a lost cause.

BamaMan
1803
Points
BamaMan 02/26/13 - 04:13 pm
7
0

Dixieman

You're a lawyer and have never heard of theft of lost or mislaid property???

sanddollar29
22
Points
sanddollar29 02/26/13 - 04:15 pm
5
1

Hmmmm

Just wondering why the woman that lost her ring knew the approximate time (7 pm) and the date (Feb. 7) but waited until February 12th to report the ring missing. Doesn't make any since. I'm also confused on how the Richmond County Sheriff's Dept. fits into a Columbia County incident...who knows.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 02/26/13 - 04:22 pm
6
0

I'm Going to Wait Also...

Unpublished

@Dixieman - This time I'm with you. It doesn't appear to be the whole story here. @HenryWalker3rd - while you and I do not agree with each other for the most part, this time, I've gotta agree with you. Strange, huh ??

Reginabee
11
Points
Reginabee 02/26/13 - 04:47 pm
2
7

Quite Ridiculous

It is quite ridiculous that (1) this woman was arrested and (2) that the paper felt the need to further humiliate her by publicizing it. I hope when or if she is vidicated The Augusta Chronicle is willing to report it.

Red Headed Step Child
4003
Points
Red Headed Step Child 02/26/13 - 04:58 pm
2
7

Ya know...

what they say about Karma.

I don't think this lawyer should be disbarred - vehemently chastised maybe. It was pretty crappy to not turn the ring in to Cracker Barrell. I mean really, wouldn't logic tell you that if a person loses something, they will retrace their steps? I know that's what I would do. Turn it in where you found it, and you've done the right thing!

Too bad by all appearances she didn't intend to turn it in, but she'd hardly be the first person to ever do that would she? I wouldn't label her a crook...

AutumnLeaves
4715
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/26/13 - 04:49 pm
8
1

hot potato...

If I found a ring, I would have turned it into the nearest authority ASAP, treating it like a hot potato, and ask for a receipt appropriate for the situation. When I found a gift card on the ground outside a library, I turned it in to the security guard immediately. When I found a credit card in a gutter in my neighborhood while out for a walk, I called 706-821-1000 immediately and asked how to go about turning it in. An officer met me before I even finished my walk! I signed the paperwork and turned it in. I was hoping if it was stolen; it could be returned to the owner safely.

AutumnLeaves
4715
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/26/13 - 05:17 pm
13
2

Finders keepers...

Good grief, every child should understand that "Finders keepers, losers weepers..." is a bully's anthem. I find it hard to believe someone old enough to post on here doesn't know that.

itsanotherday1
34614
Points
itsanotherday1 02/26/13 - 05:34 pm
10
1

I'm with you AL. There is

I'm with you AL. There is such a thing as character. Just because you find a wallet full of money (those that think that "finder's keepers" is legit), do you feeel entitled to keep it or make an effort to get it to its rightful owner?

onethickdiva
1558
Points
onethickdiva 02/26/13 - 05:49 pm
2
8

Good grief, now we bring

Good grief, now we bring bullying into this? Yes, it was me that shaved the guys head in high school. Oops that was Mitt Romney. My bad.

I've also never heard of this law but I need more facts. She was not the one who reentered the restaurant with the ring and may have been the voice of reason to the person who found it. She may not have even thought the ring was worth anything until she heard about it on the news. But hey lets go with the guilty until proven innocent angle.

seenitB4
72618
Points
seenitB4 02/26/13 - 06:01 pm
6
5

Say Whatttt

Ok let me see now...

I leave a restaurant in a hurry to get back to work.....I see object on ground & pick it up.....have 0 idea if fake-real or the price of the thing...put it in car while rushing on..(cause if late could be in big trouble) forget about the thing for awhile.....later realize I have it in car....report it to whoever at restaurant in phone call....tell them if anyone has reported the ring they can describe the thing & get it....OOPS ..some say I should be charged for this crap.....I'm not buying it..

onethickdiva
1558
Points
onethickdiva 02/26/13 - 06:16 pm
2
2

@seenit

I agree. I'm also interested to know if the owner had to show anything that said how much the ring appraised at or if she went off what her hubby told her and if Davis was asked about her diligence in returning it.

BillC1
49
Points
BillC1 02/26/13 - 06:18 pm
13
2

Surprised

To put it mildly, I am surprised by the reaction of many. No wonder we continue to slide into a state of moral relativity and decay. It is not "finder's keepers loser's weepers." It is theft. Plain and simple. She had a legal and a moral obligation to return the ring when she found it. How sad that so many are willing to give a pass to such immoral behavior.

onethickdiva
1558
Points
onethickdiva 02/26/13 - 07:29 pm
8
1

@itsanotherday1

I've actually found two wallets, a set of car keys, two puppies and had a stalled car parked in my yard before. In every instance I took it to the police or put it in the newspaper for the owner to claim. In one instance the police actually called me 30 days later to state the wallet was never claimed (no ID or credit cards) and I was given the $50. I cant even remember the timeframe in which I did so but I'd say in a couple days.

Not that I read any other news source other than AC, it was reported that the owner, lost the ring while taking off her gloves (it was 70 degrees that day) and spent 15 minutes searching the parking lot. She went into Cracker Barrel and said she's lost a ring but failed to leave her information if anyone found it. I dont know about anyone else but if I have on a $10,500 ring I would spend more than 15 minutes looking for it, would leave my info with the manager as well as not wait 5 days to report it. I'm still not convinced we have the entire story yet.

itsanotherday1
34614
Points
itsanotherday1 02/26/13 - 06:51 pm
10
1

Onethick, I don't disagree at

Onethick, I don't disagree at all with your take on the situation. My comments were directed at people who take a "finders keepers" attitude; I find that just disgusting when so many claim to be of fine moral standing.
I have no idea what this lawyer is guilty of, if anything, but I do know several posters are guilty of a moral lapse. I don't keep anything I've found if there is teh slightest inkling the rightful owner is looking for it, and I can make the connection for them.

I correct cashiers when they misfigure change in my favor, but that is just me.

HenryWalker3rd
2393
Points
HenryWalker3rd 02/26/13 - 06:58 pm
0
4

:D Cool.

Unpublished

:D Cool.

owensjef3
5507
Points
owensjef3 02/26/13 - 07:11 pm
1
8

Shame on the chronicle

Unpublished

Shame on the chronicle

scoopdedoop64
2235
Points
scoopdedoop64 02/26/13 - 07:16 pm
5
0

We Should All Seek to Do the Right Thing!

Morally the right thing to do is try to find the owner which she did not do. I don't blame her for not leaving the ring with the manager because they are just as likely to take it also but she could have told the manager to have anyone who reports the ring lost to call her and describe it. I still don't think this is enough to be prosecuting someone for. Especially not in comparison to all the other crimes that the district attorney's office should be handling.

Back to Top

Loading...