The family of a teenager killed four years ago by a mob in downtown Dallas is still waiting to see someone face a criminal trial for the murder.
Joe Davis’ aunt Jessie Logan had recently brought him to Dallas from Mississippi to start a new job and college. She said she remembers the 18-year-old as a bright-eyed church boy.
“Oh God, life ended before it even began,” she said.
On Oct. 2 2005 Davis attended the State Fair Classic football game and State Fair and that night Dallas Police officers said Davis was a victim of perhaps the worst violence Downtown Dallas has ever seen.
As Davis stood in a parking lot talking with his uncle and cousin, police said about 20 people began attacking them. Police said mobs of people stood by watching, even videotaping, what ultimately was Davis’ murder.
“It's like they (were) just standing on the sideline watching a game and like it's fun and games to them,” said Logan. “Beaten to death, kicked, I just can't believe that.”
Despite the fact that witnesses were plentiful, few people came forward to speak with police or identify suspects.
Ultimately detectives arrested and charged Kendrick Barnes, Antonio Few, Phillip Horton and Christopher Smith in Davis’ death. Yet, none of the individuals have faced a criminal trial and every defendant has bonded out of jail.
Logan said the delays in prosecution are prolonging the family’s grief.
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“They're saying that they going to have the trial this day and you know it never comes,” said Logan.
A spokesperson for Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said his office can’t comment on delays prior to Watkins taking office in January 2007.
Since that time, one of the four defendant’s attorneys was hired by Watkin's office, which forced the case to be reassigned to a special prosecutor. The district attorney’s office said two of the cases could go to trial before the end of October and a third one is scheduled for a plea.
However, Davis’s family said they have not heard about any potential trial dates as they mark the fourth anniversary of his death, waiting for a day in court.
“They need to put these animals behind bars where they belong,” said Logan.