ALBANY, Ga. -- Opposing attorneys gave closing arguments before a judge Thursday in the trial of a 17-year-old man charged with enough felonies to get him 55 years in prison.
Davonta Covin is charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, street gang terrorism and possession of a firearm during a felony stemming from a September robbery.
After hearing the evidence in the bench trial, where a judge decides guilt or acquits the accused, Dougherty Superior Court Chief Judge Willie Lockette said he would render a decision at 11 a.m. today.
Defense attorney James Finkelstein summed up his case by stating that no one had proved Covin had a gun, participated in the robbery or that he belonged to the Black Gangster Disciples.
The witnesses against Covin told stories filled with inconsistencies and conflicts, Finkelstein said. The victim also said Covin did not participate in the robbery, he added.
Finkelstein said that the prosecution did not present a case beyond reasonable doubt to the judge.
"Their stories changed so many time I can't keep up with them," Finkelstein said. "They lied to the police, gave false reports of the crime and committed perjury."
In retort, Matt Breedon, assistant district attorney for the Dougherty Judicial Circuit said that the victim, Kenya Hosley, had been intimidated against testifying to the truth of Covin's involvement. He added that the most important parts of all the stories were consistent.
Because Hosley would have to live with the gang members still at large in his community, he changed his story depending on who was accused. A co-defendant, Ronald Rollins, pleaded guilty and is in prison for 10 years.
Before Rollins was put in prison, Hosley said Covin did it, Breedon said. With Hosley incarcerated, Hosley said Rollins did it.
Hosley was obviously intimidated, Breedon said. As for the conflicting testimony, Breedon dismissed it.
"If there wasn't a conflict in the evidence we wouldn't be here today," Breedon said. "The testimony is consistent in major points. There were two robbers, two guns and they (the witnesses) gave the names (of the robbers) in court."
To complicate matters, Covin also stands accused of raping a witness April 6 after his first trail in February ended in mistrial. Lockette called the mistrial because all the testimony in the investigation had not been turned over to the defense.
Covin is in Dougherty County Jail on the rape charge. A bail hearing on that charge is scheduled for after the verdict in the robbery case.