Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Ricky Davis

First NameRicky
Last NameDavis
Year of Conviction2005
Year of Exoneration2020
Testing inculpated culpritCold Hit
State of ConvictionCalifornia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeMurder
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“Q: Okay. You turn on the light. And what do you see then? A: Most horrible thing I have– that I have ever seen in my life. Somebody was dead on my mother’s bed.” “You can’t imagine what it is like to be falsely accused. And this Crazy Lady comes out of your past 20 years later, straight from a mental institution, and starts accusing you of this horrible crime. And what I really want was some type of understanding. I have no understanding still to this day.” “And actually [the detective] said that it was just a passerbyer who did this crime and probably would never be solved.” “I discussed how convenient, after 14 years the hair clutched in the lady’s hands, which would exonerate me, suddenly came up missing when Detective Fitzgerald chose to go over the evidence and both envelopes were empty.” “Q: You have a bad temper, Ricky? A: Hmm, you know, really to be perfectly honest with you, my whole life I have been really calm and mellow and easygoing and laid back. The last two and a half years I have been going through this crazy madness. I realized that yeah, you know what? I really am an angry, bitter person. I really am really angry and really bitter, especially all the things that have been done to me in the last two years, eight months.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
  • Serology
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Bloodstains by front door , doorstep, and blood on a washcloth were PGM 1+ and “different from the victim.” Serologist testified he couldn’t exclude Davis.

DNA: Davis was the source of blood by doorstep to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty; admitted the blood stain was dried and could have been older.

Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessIncentivized witness
Quotes from testimony #3

Witness testified that she bit the victim at some point. Daughter of victim testified about a dream that matches the IW testimony. “Autumn’s dream matches Connie’s confession in so many aspects that it’s got to make your head spin.” Prosecution also included expert about repression of trauma and dreams.

“Back in 1985, what was your relationship with the defendant, Ricky Davis? A: He was my boyfriend.” “I bit her and uh, she– we went to the floor. And Ricky told me to get the fuck out of there. So I went back outside.” “I heard gurgling . . . Then I didn’t hear anything.” “After a little bit, um, Ricky called me into the house. And we moved Jane’s body to the bed.” “Well, when I was making my statements, I was high [on methamphetamine].”

“It was important because you really get the sense of how little information she was trying to give about the murder. And you say, you know, the defense is going to say: She’s inconsistent, she is doing this, she is doing that. She didn’t want to implicate herself in a murder. She’s trying to figure out what these guys know and how she can get out of it.” “I think the defense is going to talk a lot about leading questions. And if there weren’t leading questions in that interview, there wouldn’t even be a statement.”

Quotes regarding any deal or leniency with informant, or prior use of informant

“Q: Now in this case you took what’s called or engaged in what is called a plea bargain, is that correct? A: That’s correct. Q: What was your understanding of that plea bargain? A: Um, I could get up to 11 years. Q: Okay. And what did you plead to? A: Voluntary manslaughter. Q: Okay. and were any promises made to you? A: No.””Q: You are not going to be sentenced in this case until your testimony is over; right? A: Correct.” “Q: Deputy Fitzgerald goes on and says (reading): And in my experience . . . the first one to jump on the bandwagon always gets, always gets the easiest ride. Do you recall him telling you that? A: Yes. Q: What did that mean to you? A: That I could be charged with a lesser crime. Q: You could cut a deal; right? A: I guess.” In closing argument: Why would Connie lie about her involvement in this murder? She is facing major prison time and, you know, that’s the whole plea bargain that the defense is going to make a big deal about. She is facing prison time for her involvement in this murder.”