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Former Fla. cop found not guilty in son's death

Defense lawyers said Davis Jr. took his anger out on his father, and Davis Sr. only shot his son out of fear and self-defense


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A jury found former Orlando police officer Timothy Davis Sr. not guilty of second-degree murder Thursday.

Davis Sr. was accused of killing his son, 22-year-old Timothy Davis Jr., at their Apopka home in October 2011.

Davis Sr. embraced and cried with his family after the verdict was read.

During closing arguments, an attorney for the state said, "We are here to hold Mr. Davis responsible for what he did. He murdered his son."

Prosecutors also again showed the jury photos of the shooting, the gun used in the shooting and the surveillance video taken the day of the shooting.

The video shows the moment the retired police officer went to his car, retrieved a gun and opened fire at his unarmed son. Attorneys said Davis Jr. was upset over an argument with his ex-girlfriend about their 2-year-old son.

Defense lawyers said Davis Jr. took his anger out on his father, and Davis Sr. only shot his son out of fear and self-defense.

Davis Sr. walked purposefully toward his son and shot him, prosecutors said during closing arguments.

The state then asked jurors to return a guilty verdict of second-degree murder.

"This is not a man afraid," said prosecutor Jim Altman. "This is a man purposefully shooting his son."

Defense attorney Robert Nesmith said Davis Sr. was the victim that had been battered and severely injured by his son.

The defense also said the state had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt and that Davis Sr. had shot his son in self-defense.

"This was a terrible tragedy. Not a murder, and not an intentional act," said Nesmith.

Davis Sr. kept his Bible with him as had throughout the duration of the trial.

On Wednesday, Davis Sr. broke down while on the stand while testifying he did not know his son had been shot twice until his bond hearing.

The gun, a Kal-tech .38 handgun, was only to be used to scare his son, Davis Sr. said in court.

"I kept telling him to get back, leave me alone," said Davis Sr. "I fired trying to scare him."

The jury was also shown the home surveillance video of Davis Sr. retrieving his gun and firing at his son.

Davis Sr.'s wife, Tarsha Davis, also became emotional Wednesday when asked how many children she had.

Before the defense began questioning witnesses, they asked the judge for an acquittal. It was denied.

"Even though he was found not guilty, he lost his son, and that's something that can't be replaced," said Nesmith.

After the legal system has run its course, the Davis family said they can try to begin the process of healing.

"We have to continue to pray and come together as a family," said Tarsha Davis. "(My son) was a wonderful young man, handsome. He is missed."

Reprinted with permission from WESH Orlando

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