Emotions Run High in Capital Murder Trial

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It was an emotional day Thursday for a Bryan resident on trial for capital murder.

The accused, Willie Davis, broke down in court as a letter was read from the elder to his incarcerated son, Chad. It was the first day the senior citizen showed any emotion.

Prosecutors called Davis' former daughter-in-law, Shanna Diaz, to the stand Thursday afternoon. Diaz testified she was married to Chad for six years.

Prosecutors began asking her about the Davis' alleged involvement in drug trafficking. Diaz testified she knew nothing of their involvement and had thought the Davis family sold horse trailers and vehicles for a living.

Prosecutors then asked Diaz to read a letter written by Willie Davis, to his son. In the letter, Davis wrote, "I thank God for you everyday."

He went on to encourage Chad to be nicer to his brother Trey, who is also incarcerated for the Tommy Andrade murder. Davis wrote, "Trey would kill for you and almost did when you were in jail."

Prosecutors used the letter to demonstrate Willie Davis' involvement in the Davis drug conspiracy. Davis wrote, "I'm happy that you pay me for my work," and, "We get paid by you and no one else, so I guess you could say we're dependent."

Davis also encouraged his son to put his money in a Swiss bank account so he would have money to retire.

Also testifying Thursday were four witnesses who claimed they had purchased cell phones in their names for the Davis'.

Nicole Garner, a stay at home mom from Tomball, dated Chad Davis in 2002. Garner testified that Chad asked her to buy a cell phone for him in her name so an ex-girlfriend would quit calling him.

She said Chad put money in her bank account for the purchase, and Garner testified she would send the bill to Willie Davis at a post office box he had set up.

In earlier testimony, investigators said numerous cell phones were recovered during the murder investigation. Some were used in the early morning hours of August 7, 2003, the day Andrade was killed.

Two convicted criminals also took the stand Thursday, testifying they had personal knowledge the Davis' were involved in drug trafficking.
The defense questioned both of their credibility because of their criminal records.

One of the most compelling witnesses was Kay Hughes, a 60-something who is a former operating room nurse that dabbled in drug trafficking in Georgia.

Her son, Russell Hughes, worked for Thomas Parent, the convicted middle man in the murder plot of Thomas Andrade.

In March of last year, Parent pleaded guilty and is serving a 35-year sentence: 20 for engaging in organized criminal activity, and 15 for burglary of a habitation.

The Davis' allegedly contacted Parent to find hitmen to get revenge on Andrade, who had allegedly stolen $100,000 in drugs or money from the Davis drug conspiracy.

Hughes testified she was contacted by Parent after the shooting.
She said she helped bandage gunshot wounds on hitmen, Boris Mogilevich and Brad Padrick, the night the two were brought to Georgia.

Padrick is currently serving two consecutive 20-year sentences for his role in the crime.

Willie Davis is accused of driving those injured hitmen across state lines. If found guilty, Davis could face up to life in prison.

The trial continues Friday morning at 9 a.m. in the 85th District courtroom.