A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday (March 10) found Christopher Davis guilty of shooting his girlfriend in the back of her head as she walked away from an argument.
Davis, 30, was convicted as charged of the second-degree murder of Lashonda Sands, 34.
A dating couple for about two years, Sands and Davis got into an argument just after midnight on Jan. 5, 2020, in his apartment in the 1900 block of Faith Place in Terrytown, according to trial testimony.
The argument began after she received a text message on her mobile device from someone who informed her of the death of a good friend. Word of the death led Sands to weep. Davis wanted to know who died, but she did not respond.
Her silence led Davis to argue with her, and that led to a physical altercation, according to evidence presented at trial.
Davis left the living room where the altercation occurred and retrieved his .38-caliber revolver. As he returned, a friend of the couple who was visiting at the time attempted to stop Davis, according to trial testimony.
Sands, meanwhile, walked out the apartment door. Davis shoved his friend to the side and extended his right hand under the friend’s arm and fired once, according to trial evidence.
The bullet struck her in the back of her head. Sands, the mother of three children, collapsed and died just outside the apartment entrance.
Davis’ young son was in the apartment, playing games when the shooting happened. Davis called 911 and lied to the operator, according to trial testimony.
He told he operator that he was inside the apartment when he heard a “pop” outside and found Sands bleeding from the head.
Deputies later found Davis’ revolver hidden in a bucket filled with his child’s toys. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office’s ballistics experts determined that the revolver was the murder weapon.
Davis’ attorneys argued that the revolver accidentally fired while the friend tried to stop him. The killing was not intentional, the attorneys argued.
Davis had a history of abusive and violent behavior toward Sands, according to trial testimony. In one incident, David threatened to retrieve a gun from a car so he could shoot her, a witness testified. In another incident, he fired three bullets into the ground during an argument, that witness testified. Never were police notified, the witness testified.
The jury deliberated about 40 minutes. Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Davis on Monday (March 14). Second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
On Tuesday, Davis pleaded guilty as charged to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in connection with his having the .38-caliber revolver. Judge Miller sentenced him to 10 years in prison for that offense.
Davis was legally prohibited from having guns because of a 2017 conviction of domestic abuse battery. In that case, Davis beat a woman with whom he had had romantic relationship.
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Rachel Africk prosecuted the case.