Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

T. Cullen Davis: The Best Justice Money Can Buy

Innocent by Reason of Wealth

It didnt take jurors long to make up their minds. The 12 citizens took two votes during four-and-a-half hours of deliberation about the longest and most expensive murder trial in Texas history. The first vote was 10-2 in favor of acquittal, the second was unanimous. In November 1977, Cullen Davis, his critics would claim, was found not guilty by reason of wealth.

Cullen clearly expected the verdict. He had already made plans to go skiing in Aspen after the announcement and had made reservations. A victory party had been planned for weeks and after the verdict was announced, the jurors and judge were formally invited.

Afterward, a distraught Priscilla Davis talked to the media.

I dont care if I had an affair with King Kong, she said. The thing that tears me to pieces, that feels like a knife turning in me it hurts so bad, is that people remember that testimony but forget the terrible picture of Andrea a little girl lying in her own blood.

One of the jurors at Cullens booze-filled victory party, where Racehorse entertained guests with a drunken performance of The Ballad of Cullen Davis, explained the reason for the quick acquittal: Rich men like Cullen dont kill their wives, she said. They hire people to do it for them.

A pie-eyed Racehorse Haynes continued to show Priscilla no mercy after the trial was over. Outside the Amarillo nightclub where the defense was celebrating, he spoke to the TV cameras, his arm around Cullen.

She is the dregs, he said. She is the most shameless, brazen hussy in all of humanity. She is a charlatan, a harlot and a liar. She is a snake, unworthy of belief under oath. Someone ought to put a barbed-wire fence around her house and not let her out.

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