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Trial begins in Halloween 2016 murder case

Trial begins in Halloween 2016 murder case

November 8th, 2018 by Jeff Haldiman in Local News

Traivon Jefferson

Trial began Tuesday for a Jefferson City man charged in connection with a murder committed in the early morning hours of Halloween 2016.

Traivon D. Jefferson, 23, is charged with second-degree murder, attempted first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

Jefferson allegedly was involved in killing Terrance Davis, 29, who was shot in the 700 block of Michigan Street. Police officers found him lying in the street with two gunshot wounds after the officers responded to a 911 call of multiple gunshots fired.

Davis was taken to University Hospital in Columbia, where he died from his injuries.

An individual who came forward after the shooting told investigators Jefferson had spoken with them and others about his involvement in Davis' murder. Additional witnesses corroborated Jefferson had spoken to them about his involvement.

Jefferson was questioned and admitted to authorities that he was involved in the interaction with Davis.

He told the police it was his partner, Terrance Wynn, 21, of Jefferson City, who intended to rob Davis, but Jefferson denied involvement in the robbery and said his partner was the only person to shoot Davis before both of them fled from the area.

In his opening statement to the jury, Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson said surveillance video footage of the murder recovered from a business on Missouri Boulevard showed two suspects approached Davis. One suspect fired a gun toward him, and the other bent down beside Davis and appeared to look for items to take.

After both suspects fled, one came back a moment later and shot additional rounds at Davis on the ground before fleeing again.

Richardson said one of the men in the video was Jefferson and the jurors would see that during the trial, which is scheduled to last through the end of the week.

Jefferson's attorney, public defender Justin Carver, told jurors it was Wynn, not Jefferson, who shot Davis. Carver said Jefferson tried to keep Wynn from shooting Davis, who was just an innocent bystander and did nothing to provoke the shooting. Carver said Jefferson and Wynn had smoked marijuana and were trying to walk to Walmart to get some food when they came upon Davis and Wynn decided to rob him.

"Travion told Terrance, 'Let's go home, I'm cold,'" Carver said, "Travion told Mr. Davis, to never mind Terrance because they were high. That's when Travion saw Terrance Wynn shoot Mr. Davis."

In September, Wynn pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree robbery in relation to the death of Davis.

Wynn had been facing a count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault, as well as additional armed criminal action charges. However, those charges were dismissed as part of an alternative plea offered by prosecutors.

Cole County Senior Judge Richard Callahan accepted the plea and ordered a sentencing advisory report be completed by the Missouri Department of Corrections.

As part of the guilty plea, Wynn could be sentenced to life in prison or could decide to take a blind plea, leaving it up to Callahan to make the final sentencing, said public defender Derek Roe, Wynn's attorney.

Wynn's next court date is scheduled for December.