The trial of 20-year-old Shaquille Davis has come to an end after only one day of trial.
Davis, of Zanesville, who represented himself in the murder trial of his cousin, Phillip Kimbro Jr., initiated a plea deal with the Muskingum County Prosecutor's Office Tuesday evening. During court on Wednesday, Davis pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of murder with a gun specification, one count of tampering with evidence, and one count of abuse of a corpse in the death of Kimbro, whose burning body was found July 25 on County Road 15 in Morgan County. Davis will also have to pay $1,700 in restitution to Kimbro's family. The state will also drop two counts of tampering with evidence, and recommend Davis serve 20 years to life in prison.
"I think when he maybe discovered that possibly, he was in a little over his head defending himself. That would be my guess, but you'd have to ask him of why he decided to take some responsibility for his actions," explained Muskingum County Prosecutor Mike Haddox.
Haddox said while cases like this one are "trying" and sometimes "taxing," he's thankful for his team and the help of local law enforcement.
"I've got a great office, great help, I've got great assistant prosecutors like Mr. Welch and Mr. Smith, who was with me on the last case. And we've got great law enforcement here. And the Zanesville Police Department, Detective Tom Porter and the group of guys that worked on this case did an outstanding job."
Five other co-defendants also took plea deals for their role in Kimbro's murder. This is the third murder trial in Muskingum County in the past four months.