Originally created 02/04/05

Lawyers argue for release of suspect



Defense attorneys argued in federal court Thursday for the release of a man under indictment for weapons possession.

U.S. District Court Judge Dudley Bowen presided over Thursday's session in which the attorneys of Paul Davis Jr., 28, argued for his release.

Mr. Davis is charged under federal statutes with possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

The firearms were found the same day Columbia County sheriff's deputies raided Mr. Davis' home and found several guns along with a pound of marijuana.

He pleaded guilty in Columbia County Superior Court to drug and weapons charges stemming from the bust.

Mr. Davis was released from the state prison system Oct. 1 after two Superior Court judges of the Augusta Judicial Circuit agreed to alter his sentence - 10 years in prison for marijuana possession plus revoked probation time - after his father paid $70,000 in fines to Columbia County.

He was arrested on federal charges in mid-December.

Many family members of Mr. Davis, the son of appliance store owner Paul Davis Sr., were in court on his behalf Thursday.

The defendant's wife, Shannon Davis, from whom he is separated, told the court that she needs him released in order to help take care of their young child.

"It doesn't change the fact that he's a good father, and she needs a father," she said.

"In the two months he was out (of jail), she worshipped him and still does."

Mr. Davis was ordered held in pre-trial detention by U.S. Magistrate Judge W. Leon Barfield, following a government motion to keep him detained, court records show.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Greenwood said detention was appropriate in this case because of Mr. Davis' prior history.

"We submit it flies in the face of reality that an individual repeatedly found in possession of firearms and drugs is not a danger," she told the judge.

Judge Bowen said he would confer with probation officers in considering the issue.

"We've put a lot worse people out on bond," the judge said.

Electronic federal court records did not indicate whether Judge Bowen had issued his decision as of 5 p.m. Thursday.

Defense Attorney Jack Long said early Thursday evening that he hadn't heard anything from the judge regarding any decision on the matter.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.

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