New trial rejected in ’00 murder

first_imgLANCASTER – Prosecutors won’t retry a reputed gang member whose murder conviction for killing a gang rival who greeted him with “What’s up, dawg?” was overturned on appeal because authorities did not exert enough effort to find a key witness. Prosecutors said they won’t retry Larry Davidson for murder because he is already facing a long prison term for attempted murder from the 2000 shooting on a downtown Lancaster street. “We reinstated the attempted-murder conviction and he got life plus 25 years to life,” Deputy District Attorney Benny Osorio said. “We are not proceeding on the murder case because the sentence is practically the same he would have received in a murder conviction.” Other factors considered were the age of the case and the victim’s family having to sit through another trial, Osorio said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsVictim Quorne Warren, 21, lingered on life support for 10 months after being shot in the neck on a downtown street. Davidson was convicted of attempted murder before Warren died, then put on trial for murder after he died. Davidson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life. But the state’s 2nd District Court of Appeal in May overturned Davidson’s murder conviction, ruling that the murder trial judge erred in deciding that the prosecution had shown due diligence in trying to secure the presence of witness Amere French. French’s testimony from a pretrial hearing was read to the murder-trial jury without any possibility for the defense to cross-examine him. French testified at the preliminary hearing that he was with Davidson and some others – all members or associates of the Crips street gang – outside a friend’s home when Warren walked by wearing the colors of the rival Bloods gang. French said Warren asked the group, “What’s up, dawg?” Davidson interpreted the remark as disrespectful, prosecutors said. French testified that Davidson got a handgun, chased Warren for about two blocks and then fired the gun two times. French did not see whether Warren had been hit because his view was obstructed by a building, according to the appellate decision. The three judges on the panel said they were troubled about whether prosecutors’ search for French was timely and whether his possible location was competently explored. A district attorney’s investigator was contacted to try to find French less than a month before the scheduled start of trial, the judges said, and then left for a three-week vacation. French’s mother and brother had told the investigator that French was in Utah, but the investigator didn’t believe them. He visited a Palmdale house looking for French three times, but didn’t begin checking employment, hospital, booking and welfare records until after the trial started, the judges said. [email protected] (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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