Boyfriend will stand trial in Altadena Avenue killing

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published December 4, 2015

 Defense attorney Steven Lynch talks with his client, David Davis, during a preliminary examination Dec. 4 in 44th District Court Judge Derek Meinecke’s Royal Oak courtroom.

Defense attorney Steven Lynch talks with his client, David Davis, during a preliminary examination Dec. 4 in 44th District Court Judge Derek Meinecke’s Royal Oak courtroom.

Photo by Victoria Mitchell

ROYAL OAK — A judge ruled Dec. 4 that enough evidence exists for David Douglas Davis to stand trial for the October shooting death of his girlfriend in their Altadena Avenue home.

According to testimony before 44th District Court Judge Derek Meinecke, officers found Theresa Diamos, 50, unconscious and lying face up in the middle of the hallway of the home in the 800 block of North Altadena, near Campbell Road south of Gardenia Avenue. The body was found before 3 a.m. Oct. 12, and Diamos subsequently was pronounced dead at Beaumont Hospital.

Davis had entered a plea of not guilty.

Royal Oak police officer Richard Chipman testified that he saw Davis come outside of the home and stand on the porch while holding a gun aimed up in the air. Chipman said Davis held the gun close to its trigger.

“It was a long, black shotgun,” Chipman said.

Chipman said Davis was ordered to drop the gun; he did not, went back in the house, and then came back on the porch without the weapon. At that point, Chipman said, Davis surrendered and went to the ground as police previously demanded.

Details of the case were not discussed during the exam; however, the defense did make a point during Chipman’s testimony to indicate that there was not a strong police presence, if any, in the back of the home.

According to Royal Oak Deputy Police Chief Gordon Young, Davis initially told neighbors and responding officers that there was an intruder; however, investigators found no evidence to support the suspect’s initial claim.

Chipman’s testimony was preceded by Oakland County Deputy Forensic Pathologist Ruben Ortiz-Reyes, who said Diamos was shot in the chest about 14 inches down from her head. Ortiz estimated the close-range shot came from about 30-40 inches away.

“The manner of death is homicide,” Ortiz-Reyes said.

Davis, 49, is charged with one count of open murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

He also is charged with one count of possessing a firearm at the time of attempting or committing a felony, which carries a sentence of two years in prison to be served prior to any other sentence if found guilty.

Other charges included possessing a firearm when ineligible to do so, carrying a sentence of five years in prison; and one count of carrying a firearm at the time of committing or attempting a felony when found guilty of violating count three, which carries a sentence of two years in prison.

Meinecke said Davis was ineligible to carry a firearm because he had a prior conviction for assault with intent to commit great bodily harm. Davis’ criminal history includes convictions for assault with a dangerous weapon in 2004, operating while impaired in 2005, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder in 2006.

The defense questioned the charge of open murder, as opposed to second-degree murder, but Meinecke ruled that for the purposes of a preliminary examination, the prosecution did not have to speak to degree for an open murder charge.

Per the prosecution’s request, Meinecke also ordered that Davis could not contact any member of the Diamos family by letters or through his family, nor could he contact any witnesses involved in the case as an additional condition of his bond. Meinecke set no bond at the suspect’s arraignment.

The prosecution said such communication happened.

Defense attorney Steven Lynch said he does not believe that anyone could consider a letter Davis sent to the family as threatening.

Members of the Diamos family sat in reserved rows of the courtroom with an Oakland County Victim Services advocate.

The trial will take place at Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac at a future date.