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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The mother of a Marion man on trial for murder testified Wednesday she knew her son’s girlfriend’s body was in a roll of carpet on the utility trailer he’d parked in her driveway but never checked to see if the woman was alive or called the police until the next day.
“’She’s gone,’” Kathy Davis said her son, Greg Davis, told her during a phone call Sept. 29, 2017, while she and her husband were in Des Moines. He was referring to his girlfriend, Carrie Davis.
She said she last saw Carrie Davis on Sept. 28, at the house she formerly shared with her son in Marion.
Her son, she said, drove to his parents’ house Oct. 1 pulling the green utility trailer. She noticed the carpet roll, which was unusual because there was no reason he should have it on the trailer.
“I didn’t get close to it,” Kathy Davis said, testifying that her only thought was that Carrie’s body was rolled in the carpet. She said she asked her son if Carrie was on the trailer and he said yes.
Kathy Davis said she didn’t confirm that or look at the carpet roll.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Mike Harris asked if she called police or an ambulance. She said no, that her world “was falling apart.”
Davis, 30, charged with first-degree murder, was granted a new trial in 2020 when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned his 2018 jury conviction in Carrie Davis’ fatal stabbing. The justices, in a 4-3 opinion, ruled the trial judge erred by not including an instruction to the jury on Davis’ insanity defense.
A new trial was ordered, and Davis waived his right to a jury trial this time, choosing a bench trial — meaning 6th Judicial District Judge Sean McPartland will determine the verdict. The trial started Tuesday in Linn County District Court.
Carrie Davis, 29, who had the same last name but was not married to Greg Davis, was stabbed 26 times Sept. 28, 2017, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Her body was concealed in a roll of carpet found on a trailer at Kathy and Rick Davis’ vacant rental property in Marion.
Davis is again claiming insanity or diminished capacity as his defense in his second trial.
Called a lawyer
Kathy Davis testified Wednesday that instead of calling police, she called her attorney. That’s who she thought her son needed.
Harris asked what she did after that.
Kathy Davis said she sat outside with her son and cried for about 45 minutes. She didn’t know her son had killed Carrie, but she suspected it.
Her son then left with the body on the trailer.
“Did you feel comfortable letting him leave?” Harris asked.
Kathy Davis said she wasn’t comfortable with anything.
“Couldn’t you stop him,” Harris asked.
“What would you suggest?” Kathy Davis asked.
Harris said she could have called the police.
Kathy Davis called Marion police at 8 a.m. the next day, Oct. 2, because that’s what her lawyer advised. She didn’t report a death. She called the non-emergency number, asking for a welfare check on Carrie Davis.
Noose in garage
Harris asked if she knew how or why an extension cord with a loop fashioned into a noose was hanging from her garage door opener.
She said she didn’t know.
In earlier testimony, Brad Feickert, a former Marion police officer who photographed the crime scene in 2017, testified by video from his home in Little Rock, Ark., about police finding a noose in the Davis’ garage. He said, based on his experience investigating homicides, that it looked like somebody was going to hang themself.
Marion police Sgt. James Hancox also testified about finding pieces of a ripped note in the center console of Greg Davis’ Ford pickup truck. Some pieces were missing, but it was pieced together.
Hancox said the note stated, “I stabbed Carrie in a vicious attack four days ago when I was on drugs. Believed was the devil. I am truly sorry. Apologize to friends and family. She was the love of my life.”
The note, he said, also was singed around the edges as if someone tried to burn it and had parts scribbled out.
Hancox also testified about clothing with “red stains” found in a trash bag in Davis’ pickup toolbox.
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