Saturday, September 16, 2000

Witness loses nerve, sprints from courtroom

After deputies' tackle him, reluctance to testify lands him in jail

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A witness who was supposed to testify against an accused killer ended up in jail himself Friday.

        While testifying in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, Kevin Davis jumped over the witness stand and sprinted out of the courtroom.

        He was tackled by three deputies, put in handcuffs and taken to jail.

        Mr. Davis of Cincinnati appar ently panicked when prosecutors told him he would be held in jail as a “reluctant witness.”

        Prosecutors say Mr. Davis is a key witness in the murder trial of Christopher Roley, a Bond Hill man accused of shooting to death James E. Hillman Jr. on March 8.

        In court Friday, prosecutors played a taped statement from Mr. Davis that links Mr. Roley to the crime.

        But since giving the statement, Mr. Davis has said he does not recall any incriminating details about the case and would not testify against Mr. Roley.

        Mr. Roley's trial was postponed last month when prosecutors told Judge Arthur Ney they could not find Mr. Davis.

        To avoid another delay, prosecutors notified Mr. Davis that he could be held in jail until the trial. That's when Mr. Davis dashed out of the courtroom.

        He will be held at the Justice Center until the trial in October.


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