Alaskan man appears in court for Bojangles nightclub murder

By  | 

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Correction: The wife of Jesse Anderson made the police phone call, not the wife of Michael Hodges.

The trial for Tevyn Davis, the man accused of a 2016 murder outside the former Bojangles nightclub, began Monday with opening arguments. The courtroom of Judge McConahy was full as attorneys for both the State and Tevyn Davis presented their opening arguments. Davis is accused of murdering Michael Hodges and leaving Jesse Anderson with life-threatening injuries. He is also facing charges of assault and weapons misconduct. The State Prosecutor Risa Leonard presented the state's opening argument first.

"This was a bar fight. Usually somebody wins, somebody loses, everybody goes home. This was a bar fight, nobody needed to shoot. Nobody needed to get shot. It was just a bar fight," she said.

Leonard walked the jury through a version of the events of the night of September 4, 2016, using witness testimony to piece together the puzzle. She talked about how witnesses described the shooter that night as a black male wearing a white t-shirt and faded blue jeans. Which is what Davis was wearing that night. She also played two of what she said were many 911 calls made that night. One from Michael Hodges wife.

"911 what city?" asked the 911 operator.
"Hi, [inaudible] and my husband has been shot at the corner of [inaudible] where Bojangles is," said Hodges wife.
"Okay, did you see who did it?" said the 911 operator.
"I said he was in a white [inaudible] oh my god," Hodges wife said.

And another from a witness driving by at the time.

"911 what city?" asked the 911 operator.
"Fairbanks, Alaska," said the witness.
"Ok do you need police, fire, or medical?" said the operator.
"Police, fire and medical at Bojangles at the corner of South Cushman and Airport Road. There's been two victims shot."

Both callers are among the witnesses that will be called during the trial. Both sides spoke about a first shot that took place inside the club that caused people to move outside. Andrew Haas is representing Tevyn Davis and during his opening arguments he presented a version of the night's events, saying some things were left out.

"I am trying to give you a chronology and hopefully you will understand that there are a lot of people with dogs in the game. Both in terms of our guys versus their guys, in terms of intoxication, in terms of really great deals that they got and if they do everything that is expected of them, they would lose those great deals," he said.

Haas also challenged a lot of what Leonard said, one thing being the staff of Bojangles cleaning up after people had started leaving after the first shot had been fired. Leonard stated by moving and cleaning up the bar, the staff unintentionally made it harder for law enforcement to do their job, but Haas said the staff were simply professionals doing their jobs.

Davis was also part of the August 2017 riot at Fairbanks Correctional Center. The trial is set to resume Tuesday morning and expected to last just over a week.