Davis, an attorney, is accused of theft of lost or mislaid property after finding a diamond ring in a Cracker Barrel parking lot Feb. 7. She kept the ring nearly two weeks, until she learned through the media that the owner had reported it missing.
She immediately returned the ring, said Tanya Jeffords, one of four lawyers defending Davis. Two of the four were in attendance Saturday.
The Revs. Larry Fryer, William Harris and Christopher Johnson organized the rally to pray for her and to ask one question: Why?
“We really want to know why in the world this young lady is in the predicament she’s in,” Johnson said to a small crowd that had gathered.
Jacque Hawk, one of the lawyers defending Davis, said her character is above reproach and that it is absurd to think she knowingly committed theft.
“She works her tail off for people who can’t afford representation any other way, and she gives them quality representation by killing herself,” he said. “She’s the kind of person that has a trial on Monday and if they don’t have clothes to wear to court, she goes by Goodwill and buys clothes for them so they can have a fair day in court.”
Jeffords said the issue is not even Davis’ alleged innocence or guilt. Because there was no appropriation of property, which is required by the statute, then there is no crime, she said.
Jason Hasty, an attorney and adjunct professor of basic criminal law, would not comment on the specifics of Davis’ case because he is not part of the legal team, but he answered general questions about the law.
“The law says if I find it, once I possess it, I own it against all the world except the true owner,” he said.
He said the law states no timeframe for turning an item in to anyone except the rightful owner.
Jeffords said she and the other attorneys representing Davis – Hawk, Charles Lyons and Jack Long – are representing her pro bono because she is a colleague and a friend, and all are concerned that a conviction would unfairly ruin her career.
“We have been on this since the very beginning, and we just plain and simply feel that it’s wrong,” Jeffords said.
She said the district attorney has recused herself from the case and she’s not sure yet who will prosecute.
For most of the rally, Davis stood with her arm intertwined with her mother’s. Once, she turned to wipe tears from Mona Davis’ face.
“I appreciate all of the support that I’ve received from the community,” Davis said after the rally.