A drug informant and some girlfriends of Anthony “Pookie” Davis will point to him and another man as being responsible for the executions of a drug-dealing father and his two sons.
But some of the same witnesses will testify that Davis was so distraught after he learned what happened inside Miguel Avalos’ home near Ninth and Bancroft Streets that he vomited.
In opening statements of Davis’ first-degree murder trial Monday, defense attorneys said Douglas County prosecutors are trying to make its case against Davis look like a “shiny new car.”
“But when you open up the hood, you’ll see there’s a rat running the whole thing,” said Assistant Public Defender Kelly Steenbock.
One rat — or perhaps multiple rats, Steenbock said.
Prosecutors have charged Davis, 35, and Timothy J. Britt, 26, with three counts of first-degree murder in the July 9, 2012, shooting deaths of Miguel Avalos, 44, and his sons Miguel Avalos Jr., 18, and Jose Avalos, 16. Another son, Francisco, and his wife and infant child hid in the basement and survived.
Davis — expected to be on trial this week and next — is charged under the state’s felony murder law, which holds accomplices accountable if anyone dies in the commission of a felony such as robbery.
A third defendant, Council Bluffs resident Greg “Fat Boy” Logemann — a one-time confidential informant — has been charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.
He will testify in this case of a lingering grudge against Miguel Avalos Sr. over drug dealing — and will acknowledge that he was jealous of the money Avalos made, attorneys say.
Prosecutors George Thompson and John Alagaban say all three of the Avalos family members were shot in the head.
The elder Avalos, shot four times, was found face down in the living room. Miguel Jr. was found in the hallway between the bedrooms and the living room. Jose was found in his bedroom.
A .22 caliber gun and a .40 caliber gun were used to kill the men, authorities say.
Beyond the statements of witnesses, investigators found evidence inside the house that Avalos was dealing drugs: a small amount of meth, logs and ledgers, $2,500 in cash in Avalos’ gym shorts and $3,500 in cash atop his dresser.
Logemann will testify that he had suggested to Davis that they should rob Avalos, prosecutors say.
A woman who was with Davis and Britt that night will testify that Davis made a comment — “I think he’s home now” — shortly before Britt and Davis drove to and parked a few blocks from Avalos’ home at 2736 S. Ninth St.
Attorneys outlined what happened the night the three died:
Davis and Britt spilled out of the van. Two women, both drunk, stayed inside.
Davis returned three to five minutes later. One of the passengers said he didn’t say anything, didn’t have blood on him and didn’t appear to be shaken up.
Five to 10 minutes passed before Britt returned, out of breath and wearing gloves.
The van drove away. The two women believed that they were returning to an apartment to party with whatever drugs the men had obtained.
As Britt and Davis spoke, Davis became despondent, one of the women said. He began to vomit and repeatedly said he was going to get sick. He asked for some orange juice.
Thompson said a girlfriend, Taiotta Clairday, will testify that a panicked Davis called her to pick him up, then made incriminating statements on his way to her home.
But Steenbock told jurors that several of the state’s witnesses have credibility problems and have told multiple stories about that night.
One of the witnesses — Logemann, whom Steenbock described as a brash informant who embraced guns and drugs — had ample motive to commit the robbery, she said.
“There is no physical evidence ... there are no eyewitnesses ... there is no DNA evidence that puts Mr. Davis inside that home,” Steenbock said.