Plea deal upsets victim's brother - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Plea deal upsets victim's brother

By Josh Ault
WAFF 48 News Reporter


A murder victim's brother says he has been blind sided by a plea deal for an accused murderer.  He says the Lauderdale County DA went behind his back to offer the man a sentence of only manslaughter.

Dennis Davis says his brother Pete Davis was a special person.

Davis said, "Pete was not only my brother, he was my best friend."

On July 13, 2007, Pete was shot point blank by Zachery Smith.  He died the next day.  On Monday, a jury was selected to start the trail, but before it began Smith accepted a plea deal.

Davis said, "How Chris Connolly, the DA, and 3 members of my family can settle this for manslaughter, there is no way."

The 3 family members who knew about the plea included Davis' 2 sisters and his mother.

Chris Connolly, Lauderdale County District Attorney, said, "I made the decision to talk to the mother.  I don't regret that decision, I think the mother is the person that should have the most say."

Connolly says he had talked with all the family members throughout the case and says he knew how Dennis felt.  Dennis still feels he should have been included.

Davis said, "They didn't love Pete as much as I did."

Davis said before Tuesday he had a good relationship with Connolly.  He still had one more question to ask.

"Why did he tell me at the beginning of this, it would be an open and shut case?" said Davis.

Connolly responded, "I didn't tell him that, I don't know if there is an open and shut case."

The plea agreement will send Smith to prison for 15 years.

Connolly added, "My heart goes out to Dennis and to the family members, I know they're upset."

Sentencing for Smith will be held on May 15th.  Davis says he plans to be there and try to get the plea thrown out.  He wants to see the case go to trail.

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