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Missouri Man Pleads Judge to Reject Death Penalty after Prosecutors Seek Death Row Trial as Defendant Brutally Killed 2 Individuals in a Bar

Missouri Man Pleads Judge to Reject Death Penalty after Prosecutors Seek Death Row Trial as Defendant Brutally Killed 2 Individuals in a Bar

A man facing charges of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of two individuals at a Jefferson City bar has requested that the judge intervene and prevent the state from pursuing the death penalty.

A man from Kansas City, Missouri, Damien Davis, has been charged with multiple serious offenses in connection with a shooting incident. The charges include first-degree murder, armed criminal action, unlawful use of a weapon, and illegal gun possession. The incident resulted in the tragic deaths of Skylar Smock, 26, and Corey Thames, 43, at J. Pfenny’s Sports Grill and Pub on November 26, 2022.

Davis is currently being held at the Cole County Jail without the possibility of bond.

In September, Cole County Prosecutor Locke Thompson made a significant move by filing a notice of intent to seek the death penalty.

On Monday, Davis’ lawyer, Thomas Jacquinot, filed a motion to dismiss the death penalty, arguing that the current criteria for determining eligibility are flawed and that the state has overlooked an important step in the process.

The motion further asserts that Davis should not have been charged with first-degree murder. It contends that Davis entered the bar without any weapons and was unexpectedly assaulted by Thames. In self-defense, Davis managed to seize Thames’ gun, but tragically, he accidentally shot a bar employee before ultimately shooting and killing Thames.

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As per earlier reports obtained by ABC17 News, Smock attempted to intervene in an altercation and escort Thames out of the establishment when Davis began discharging firearms, as stated by investigators.

According to the police, Davis has confessed to firing shots at Thames, but claims that he accidentally shot Smock. In November 2022, during his arraignment, Davis stated that he was saving his life, according to earlier reports.

According to court documents, Davis’ statement to the police that night did not align with the evidence found at the scene. This includes discrepancies in the location of shell casings and the video evidence obtained from the bar’s cameras.

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