Woman found guilty on drug charges

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Lewisburg woman faces substantial jail time after being found guilty by a jury late Wednesday evening. Her trial began Monday morning.

Tiffany Tena Davis, 33, was charged in an 18-count indictment alleging sale and delivery of crack cocaine on eight occasions in 2008 and 2009. Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard spent two and a half days painstakingly building the case for the jury of six men and six women.

Forty-one witnesses - including three confidential informants, agents of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and forensic chemists from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation - testified about Davis' involvement in eight drug deals.

After the prosecution rested its case, Davis took the stand in her own defense and denied everything. Her court-appointed attorney, Terry Hernando, led Davis through all eight drug sales. She said it was not her voice on the phone agents recorded making deals to sell crack and it was not her who agents identified exchanging drugs for money.

"I do not sell crack cocaine," Davis asserted, although she admitted doing so in the past, and going to jail for it in 2006.

"You're saying they're all lying?" asked Barnard as he cross-examined her.

"Yes, sir," Davis answered. "If I was guilty I would not have got up here."

"Are you telling the jury you wouldn't lie to stay out of jail?" Barnard asked.

"Yes," she said. "I was guilty last time; I'm not guilty this time."

George Brown, 59, of Lewisburg is her stepfather.

"I've always tried to instill in Tiffany that if you didn't do something, stick to your guns regardless of the outcome," Brown said. "I'm not saying she's completely innocent, but she was targeted."

Late in the third day of the trial, Barnard told Davis, "I'm tired.

"Aren't you tired?" the prosecutor asked

"I'm trying to fight for my life," Davis answered. "I don't have time to be tired."

Applause and cries of "amen" arose in the courtroom from Davis' relatives and friends.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler ordered the jury out of the room and reprimanded the spectators for their outburst.

"Stay if you want to," he told them. "If you do it again, you'll spend 10 days in jail for contempt of court."

The jury deliberated for about four hours before returning the mostly guilty verdict. It was evident that they had been paying attention during the lengthy trial, because they pronounced Davis "not guilty" on five of the 18 counts. On another count, they found her guilty of the lesser offence of facilitation of a felony, instead of guilty of the sale of cocaine.

Davis' sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 2, and it is expected that she will be jailed for many years, given her prior record, and since several of the sale and delivery counts were for more than 0.5 grams of cocaine, a Class B Felony

"He recommended 45 years at 40 percent," Brown said, relaying Barnard's remarks to Crigler after the jury retired.

"We feel that's too much time for things of this nature... People are murdered and they don't get that much time," Brown said.

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