Davis Faces Death Penalty in Teen Slaying Trial - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Davis Faces Death Penalty in Teen Slaying Trial



    Davis Faces Death Penalty in Teen Slaying Trial
    Carrollton Police
    Carrollton police said Franklin Davis, 30, (left inset) has been charged with capital murder in connection with the death of Shania Gray, 16, (right inset). Her body was found in the Trinity River in Irving.

    The trial of a man accused of killing a Carrollton teenager to stop her from testifying against him in a sexual assault case was postponed Monday morning.

    According to an affidavit, Franklin Davis confessed to killing 16-year-old Shania Gray in Sept. 2012 after gaining her trust by posing as someone else online.  The murder trail was scheduled to begin Monday but has now been postponed until Nov. 4, according to a court clerk.

    A reason for the postponement was not immediately given.

    Carrollton investigators said Gray was killed to prevent her from testifying in the sexual assault case she had pending against him. Mesquite police said Davis had sex with Gray four times in 2010 when she was 14-years-old while she was babysitting his children.

    Police Investigate Missing Teen, Body Found

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    Police need your help in locating 16-year-old Shania Gray. Meanwhile, Carrollton has taken over investigation of body found in Trinity River.
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    Davis was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual assault in July 2011.  He posted bond the next month and was released.

    Police said Davis admitted to luring Gray from Hebron High School using a fake social media profile and a prepaid phone. Posing as someone else, he convinced Gray to meet him at the school, he said. Davis told police that when he arrived at the school, Gray was surprised to see him.

    According to Davis' confession in the affidavit, he picked up Gray and drove her to the trailhead at Champion Trail near Valley View Lane and Interstate 635.

    Davis told police Gray spotted a .380 pistol in his possession along the way and asked if he was going to hurt her. He said he told the girl he only wanted to talk about the case. Once at the trailhead, Davis led Gray down the trail to the Trinity River, where he shot her twice with the pistol, he told police. Davis told police that the teenager asked him, 'Why?' as she partially fell into the Trinity River, clinging to life, before he strangled her with his foot.

    A cyclist found her body along the Trinity River two days later.

    Davis, who had been arrested on unrelated traffic warrants and was being held in the Carrollton Municipal Jail during the investigation of the missing teen's murder, was eventually charged with capital murder.

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    Police believe body recovered in the Trinity River belongs to 16-year-old Shania Gray.
    (Published Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012)

    Following his arrest, Davis was transported to Parkland Hospital for medical treatment in Dec. 2012. While at the hospital, Davis was able to escape police custody with a deputy's weapon. After a brief standoff, he was taken into custody later that same day. Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez said a failure to follow procedures, not an issue of manpower, let to Davis' escape.

    Davis faces the charge of capital murder in the trial and could receive a death sentence if convicted.

    "NBC 5 reporters Kendra Lyn, Ray Villeda, and others contributed to this report.