Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

T. Cullen Davis: The Best Justice Money Can Buy

A Second Chance

Haynes brought Priscilla into the trial, even though she was not a party to any of the events. He questioned FBI agents about their knowledge of Priscilla and her friends and tried to paint a picture that she had framed Davis.

In closing arguments, Haynes claimed Davis was merely playing along with McCrory and was under the impression that he, not McCrory, was working for the FBI.

We all know that human beings communicate with each other in so many ways other than what they say, Haynes said in a theatrical performance before the jury. By a raise of the eyebrows, by a shrug of the shoulders, by a non-verbal gesture. These are not captured on a voice recording.

The prosecution pointed out that there were tapes, that Cullen had reportedly given McCrory a gun and that he had definitely given him $25,000 cash.

But Cullen managed to escape a second time. This time, jurors were unable to reach a verdict (the vote was a stubborn 8-4 in favor of acquittal) and the judge was forced to declare a mistrial.

Prosecutors quickly made plans to try the case again, knowing well that retrials tend to favor the defense, because the prosecution has already shown its hand. But the law was confident that with so much overwhelming evidence, a conviction was likely. Again, they presented a compelling case that Cullen had sought to kill his enemies.

This time it looked like T. Cullen Davis was going to pay for his alleged crimes. Everyone thought so. Even the defense team was working on the presumption that Cullen was going down and was busy planning the punishment phase defense and appeal.

After a short deliberative period, the jury announced that it was finished. The prosecution was so confident of a conviction that it asked the judge to delay the announcement so that Judge Joe Eidson could be present in the courtroom.

The jurys announcement shocked everyone connected with the case, except, if you ask him, T. Cullen Davis.

They found him not guilty.

The jurors voted for acquittal because they couldnt find a way to convince themselves that a man of Cullens wealth would lower himself to having a judge killed.

Priscilla filed a wrongful death suit against Cullen, but again a jury was unable to decide his guilt. The case was dismissed when the jury deadlocked.

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