Jury recommends death for videotaped sex slaying

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 | 10:55 p.m. CDT

 INDEPENDENCE - A man convicted of murder in the videotaped sexual torture and killing of an Independence woman has been sentenced to death.

A Jackson County jury deliberated for less than two hours Tuesday before giving the death sentence to 44-year-old Richard D. Davis of Independence.

Davis was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, and assault in the May 2006 slaying of 41-year-old Marsha Spicer. The jury also found him guilty of kidnapping, rape, sodomy and assault in an attack a month earlier on 36-year-old Michelle Huff-Ricci.

Davis' girlfriend, Dena Riley, is shown on videotapes participating in the sexual assault on Spicer and is scheduled for trial next year in Spicer's killing.

And both are charged with capital murder in neighboring Clay County, where Huff-Ricci's charred remains were found in April 2006.

The sexual attacks on both women were recorded on videotapes that turned up in Davis's apartment and became key evidence in the trial.

Over his lawyers' objections, Davis took the stand Tuesday to tell the jury he was sorry for what he did to his victims, including Spicer, Huff-Ricci, a 5-year-old girl he is accused of raping and sodomizing and a woman he was convicted of raping 20 years ago.

Davis's lawyers contended throughout the penalty phase of the trial that he had been shaped largely through a childhood filled with physical and sexual abuse.

Defense attorney Tom Jacquinot said Davis became "sexually sick" at a young age. Jacquinot also alluded to sexual abuse suffered by Davis' siblings.

Davis was able to overcome drug addition, Jacquinot said, "but the sexual past, Rick never could face." Davis expanded on that history during nearly an hour on the stand Tuesday, describing violent and sexual acts by his stepfather and a neighbor.

But Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Tom Hunt said Davis had shown no mercy to people he had victimized. There is a place for mercy, Hunt said, but Davis did not deserve it.



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