Erick Daniel Davila, 31, was executed by lethal injection on 25 April 2018 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of a woman and her granddaughter at a party.
On Sunday, 6 April 2008, 15 children and some adults were attending a birthday party at Annette Stevenson's house in Fort Worth. At about 8:00 p.m., just as the children were eating ice cream and cake on the front porch, a black Mazda drove by slowly. Inside was a man holding a gun with a red laser sight. The car stopped a couple of blocks away. Davila, then 21, got out of the car with the weapon and knocked on the door of one house. Receiving no answer, he walked down a trail between that house and another building to a field that was across the street from the Stevensons' house. The passenger in the Mazda, Garfield Thompson, then slid into the driver's seat and sped off.
Davila stood in the field, next to an air conditioning unit, and took aim at the Stevensons' house. He fired multiple shots from that position, then he ran toward the house, stood in the middle of the street, and fired several more times. The Mazda then drove up and stopped. Davila jumped into the driver's seat and sped off.
Police arrived to find Annette Stevenson, 47, dead in the back bedroom. Queshawn, a 5-year-old girl, was fatally injured on the couch in the living room. Two more children, including the 9-year-old birthday girl, had leg wounds, and there was blood splattered everywhere. Officers recovered four shell casings from the middle of the street and four more from the shooter's other position by the air conditioner.
Kent Reed was attending a different birthday party in the neighborhood and was barbecueing in his yard. He witnessed Davila exit the Mazda with the gun and knock on the door of the empty house. He gave police a description of the car and the gunman, who wore large silver-coloered bolts through his ears. He also stated that he heard two series of gunshots. The following day, he picked Davila out of a photo line-up.
A fifteen-year-old boy who was at the party with Kent stated that he followed the gunman and saw him stop next to the air conditioner. He saw the gunman point the laser sight at Jerry Stevenson, aka "Big Boy Dooney," who was the only adult male at the Stevensons' party. When Dooney went inside, he moved the beam to the windows of the house. He then moved the beam to "Granny" (Annette Stevenson), who was trying to shoo the children inside, and began firing. The boy said that the shooter appeared frustrated when he failed to hit Dooney.
Nichcole Blackwell called the police when she learned that her car might have been involved in the murders. She gave a statement at the police station. She said that she and Davila were living together. He had a "Truman Street Bloods" tattoo on his chest and owned a black rifle. On the day of the murders, he drove off in her black Mazda 626 at about 3:00 p.m. He returned about 8:00 or 9:00 p.m., left again, returned around 11:00 p.m., left again, and finally returned around 4:00 a.m. and went to sleep.
Detective Brent Johnson arrested Davila on the afternoon of the 8th. He gave four written statements over the course of seven hours. In his third statement, he said that he and his friend, Garfield Thompson, were driving around in Blackwell's car when he decided that "we can have a shoot 'em up."
"I told Garfield it was my hood and we were going to have a shoot 'em up, and I was going to scare them and let them know that I had a gun," Davila stated. He first had to go to "Ms. Sheila's" house to get the "clip" or magazine. Ms. Sheila'ls house, he explained, "is where everybody goes to keep their guns and their weed." A little boy answered the door, and he went inside to get the magazine from under the sofa. He loaded it into the rile and then went back outside.
"The fat dude was in the middle of the street. The other three were on the porch," Davila stated. "I only let off ten rounds and I had 21 in the clip. I was trying to get the guys on the porch and I was trying to get the fat dude. I wasn't aiming at the kids or the woman and don't know where the woman came from. I don't know the fat dude's name, but I know what he looks like, so I recognized his face."
Davila said he gave his SKS semi-automatic rifle to a fellow Bloods gang member named Terminal the day after the murders. Terminal later led police to the rifle. It had a folding stock, an infrared scope, and a bayonet attached.
At Davila's trial, Jerry Stevenson, who was Annette's son, testified that the neighborhood was known for gang-related violence between the Bloods and the Crips. About a week before the murders, he had intervened in what may have been a gang-related quarrel in front of his mother's house between some Bloods, who were identified by their red clothing, and his nephew, Gary, who was visiting. This may have identified his mother's home as "a Crip house," even though no one living there was a member of either gang.
Davila's defense was that he only intended to shoot Jerry Stevenson, not the two victims who were killed. Absent any other aggravating factors, that killing would not be capital murder.
Davila's fourth statement to police was admitted during the punishment phase of his trial. He stated that he had committed an aggravated robbery and another murder two days before the birthday party shooting. He also had a previous felony conviction for burglary of a habitation, a felony conviction for marijuana possession, and a misdemeanor conviction for marijuana possession.
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