Jordan Davis Enters Alford Plea To Murder

WHEELING — Before jury selection was to begin in Ohio County Circuit Court this morning, Jordan Davis III entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree murder, denying guilt in the killing of Ahmid Saleam Hinton, but admitting that he would likely lose at trial.

Davis, 28, of Bellaire was escorted from the courtroom around 10 a.m. by two Ohio County Sheriff’s deputies, while prospective jurors slowly filtered out of the courtroom after him. The prospective jurors had been gathered for an hour before Davis entered his plea, assisted by his defense attorney, Mark Panepinto. The proceedings occurred before Judge David Sims.

Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak, representing the state, said Davis will return before Sims for sentencing at a later date.

“His Alford plea was to second-degree murder, where we’ll have sentencing at a later time,” Turak said. “His attorneys will ask the court for a 10-year sentence; the state will recommend a 40-year sentence. Those are the limits that a judge must pick from.”

In return for the Alford plea, additional charges of attempted murder and person prohibited from possessing a firearm were dropped. A pre-sentence investigation will be performed.

“The jury panel was here, ready to start selection, and then this happened,” Turak added. “I wasn’t part of the conversations with his lawyer.”

Turak said the plea today did not change anything with regard to the murder trial against Davis’ brother, DeAndre Davis, set for Sept. 17.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Jordan Davis, Wheeling police heard multiple gunshots in the area of Zane and South Penn streets at about 1:40 a.m. May 9, 2017.

Upon arrival, officers found William Hinton standing next to his mortally wounded brother, who was lying on the sidewalk.

According to the complaint, officers asked Ahmid Hinton, who was still conscious, who had shot him, to which Hinton responded, “D.D. did, man.” “D.D.” is a nickname of DeAndre Davis, according to police.

Ahmid Hinton later died at a local hospital. Police were unable to obtain a statement from him beyond what he told officers at the scene. According to the complaint, William Hinton told police he may have been the intended target of the shooting, which he believed was retribution for a previous altercation between him and the Davis brothers’ uncle at a Wheeling Island bar.

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