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January 30, 2015

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Judge upholds guilty plea in drive-by shooting case

Christopher Privett

Christopher Privett

The guilty plea agreement of a 17-year-old boy facing life in prison will stand, a Clark County District Court judge said today.

Judge Stefany Miley said there was no legal basis to allow Gerald Davison to recant his guilty plea to first-degree murder and scheduled his sentencing hearing for Oct. 26.

Attorney Osvaldo Fumo filed a motion on July 15 to withdraw the plea and remove himself as Davison’s lawyer. In trying to withdraw his plea, Davison said that Fumo did not act in his best interests, according to the motion.

The motion stated that continuing to represent Davison “would be either a conflict of interest, prejudice to Mr. Davison or a breach of counsel’s ethical and professional responsibilities.”

The request was filed two weeks after Davison pleaded guilty in court to the murder of 15-year-old Christopher Privett and to one count of attempted murder. The plea agreement dropped four other charges.

Davison would be sentenced to life in prison and eligible for parole in 28 years under the terms of the plea agreement. He is about three weeks shy of his 18th birthday.

Neither Fumo nor Deputy District Attorney Giancarlo Pesci made arguments in court today, instead deferring to their written arguments.

Pesci wrote, “the fact that the defendant, or his extended family, has buyer’s remorse does not constitute a legal basis for allowing him to withdraw his plea.”

Miley agreed and denied the motion to withdraw the plea and remove Fumo as Davison’s attorney. She said the court record showed he “freely and voluntarily” entered into the guilty plea agreement.

“The court finds that the defendant knowingly waived his right to a jury trial. The defendant was represented by an experienced counsel in the criminal defense arena,” she said.

Authorities said Davison was the triggerman in a drive-by shooting on Feb. 15, 2008, near Palo Verde High School.

According to police reports, a gray Pontiac driven by Ezekiel Williams passed by Privett and three of his friends on Alta Drive. Witnesses said harsh words and gang signs were exchanged between members of the two groups.

The car made a U-turn and drove by the four boys again near Pavilion Center Drive. Williams said he handed the gun to Davison, who fired it several times out the back window.

Privett was shot once in the chest and died at Summerlin Hospital.

Williams pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon and accessory to murder. In August, Miley sentenced him 20 years in prison. He is eligible for parole in eight years.

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