Public Safety

Marion man charged with killing ex-girlfriend will be retried in November

His first-degree murder conviction was overturned last year

Gregory Davis watches as the jury enters the courtroom Sept. 12, 2018, during his first-degree murder trial at the Linn
Gregory Davis watches as the jury enters the courtroom Sept. 12, 2018, during his first-degree murder trial at the Linn County Courthouse in Cedar Rapids. Davis was convicted of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Carrie Davis. The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the murder conviction, and a new trial is set for November. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Marion man whose first-degree murder conviction was overturned last year will be retried Nov. 2 for his former girlfriend’s fatal stabbing in 2017.

The retrial for Gregory Davis, 30, was set during a short case management conference Friday. Sixth Judicial District Judge Sean McPartland and attorneys in the case agreed last month to postpone the retrial until later in the year because of concerns about the pandemic.

Iowa jury trials resumed this month, but no serious felony trials in Linn County went forward. Many already had been reset to later in the year.

Davis’ new lawyer, Alfredo Parrish of Des Moines, needed time to familiarize himself with the case and consider what expert witnesses would be needed.

Davis claimed insanity or diminished responsibility in the fatal stabbing of the woman, who was stabbed 26 times Sept. 28, 2017.

Last November, in a 4-3 ruling, Iowa Supreme Court justices overturned the first-degree murder conviction, ruling that because the trial judge didn’t give an instruction to the jury regarding Davis’ insanity defense on the first-degree murder charge, they couldn’t consider it.

The jury instruction for the insanity defense was included with the lesser charge, so this error allowed the jury to wrongly conclude the insanity defense applied only to that charge, according to the appeal ruling.

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A Linn County jury deliberated about two hours in September 2018 before returning a guilty verdict..

Davis is accused of stabbing 29-year-old Carrie Davis in the Marion home they shared. Davis attempted to conceal her body in a roll of carpet, which authorities found Oct. 2 on a utility trailer parked outside his parents’ vacant rental house in Marion.

Gregory Davis and Carrie Davis had the same last name but were never married.

He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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