Public Safety

New trial for Marion man accused of fatally stabbing former girlfriend may not happen until fall

Defendant has new lawyer

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. A jury convicted him in the stabbing death of Carrie Davis, but the verdict was overturned in November. Lawyers on Friday discussed a date for a new trial for him. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Marion man whose first-degree murder conviction was overturned last year may not be retried for his former girlfriend’s fatal stabbing until late fall.

During a brief status conference Friday, 6th Judicial District Judge Sean McPartland, along with a prosecutor and defense attorney, agreed that a trial for Gregory Davis, 30, wouldn’t be possible until October or November because Davis has a new attorney, Alfredo Parrish of Des Moines. They also were concerned about how long the pandemic will continue and how it might delay or postpone a trial scheduled earlier in the year.

McPartland said, as far as he knows, jury trials will resume in February, but that’s up to the Iowa Supreme Court. The court had previously postponed trials until Feb. 1.

He said he would set up a scheduling conference for the attorneys in a few weeks to discuss possible trial dates.

Last November, in a 4-3 ruling, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the first-degree murder conviction of Davis, who claimed insanity or diminished responsibility is the fatal stabbing of Carrie Davis, who was stabbed 26 times.

The Iowa justices ruled the trial judge didn’t give an instruction to the jury regarding Davis’ insanity defense on466 the first-degree murder charge, but did provide the instruction for lesser charges the jurors could consider.

The error allowed the jury to wrongly conclude the insanity defense didn’t apply to the first-degree murder charge, according to the court ruling.

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The Linn County jury deliberated about two hours before returning a verdict, according to court records.

According to trial testimony, Davis stabbed 29-year-old Carrie Davis on Sept. 28, 2017, in the Marion home they shared. Davis then 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.

The former couple shared a common last name but were not married or related, according to testimony.

After the guilty verdict, Davis was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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

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