You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myDaytonDailyNews.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myDaytonDailyNews.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myDaytonDailyNews.com.

Dayton woman’s trial starts in death of man shot on birthday


A jury has been selected in the murder trial of Nina M. Davis, a Dayton woman accused of shooting and killing Travis Smith in June 2016. Opening statements were expected to begin at 1:45 p.m.

Davis, 35, was indicted for two counts of murder, two counts of felonious assault and one count of tampering with evidence. Smith was shot once on his 34th birthday with a .45-caliber handgun after an argument, according to prosecutors. Police located the weapon hidden inside a dresser drawer.

RELATED: Nina Davis arraigned on murder charges

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Gregory Singer ruled prosecutors will be able to present evidence that Davis had verbal altercations in which she threatened to kill Smith. Singer also ruled that Davis’ defense attorney can’t present evidence that Smith was a drug dealer.

“(Smith) informed neighbors he was moving out of the home he shared with (Davis) the day before the shooting,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Kraig Chadrick wrote in a motion to use so-called bad prior acts. “When interviewed by detectives following the shooting, (Davis) claimed it was an accident.

“It follows that the evidence set forth above goes to show (Davis’) motive for shooting (Smith) as well as a lack of mistake or accident and will be admitted by the State for reason other than (Davis’) character.”

Defense attorney Anthony VanNoy argued against such evidence, saying it would be highly prejudicial to Davis.

“It is impermissible to allow the jury to decide her guilt and sentence, not on the specific facts of the incident she is charged,” VanNoy wrote. “But rather by using unreliable, inaccurate accounts of a prior altercation made by bias neighbors, who grew up with Smith, and may have been taking money from him in exchange for their silence about his drug activities.”

In a written motion, prosecutors also asked Singer to deny information that Smith was involved in drug activity, such as “video surveillance systems, firearms and a safe containing suspected heroin.”

Chadrick wrote that “whether or not the decedent was involved in drug activity is not an essential element of any charge contained in the indictment.”

VanNoy argued Smith’s activities should be fair game.

“Smith’s daily drug activity is relevant because it highlights the lifestyle and toxic environment in which him and Davis had grown accustomed to living,” VanNoy wrote. “Drugs were a constant part of life in the household. Smith frequently carried his gun to protect himself while carrying out his drug activities.”

Chadrick also asked Singer to prevent VanNoy from “commenting on, questioning witnesses, or presenting evidence regarding battered woman syndrome,” which he said is a part of a self-defense claim and not consistent with an accidental shooting defense.

The judge said he would deny VanNoy’s motion unless he could provide evidence that other courts have allowed evidence of battered-women type activity without claiming that defense.




Next Up in Local

Two men arrested following dispute over car repossession
Two men arrested following dispute over car repossession

A dispute between an man attempting to "repo" a vehicle and the vehicle’s owner involved an argument, a threat, and shots fired at a residence in the area of State Route 571 and Rangeline Road in Miami County. Detectives later executed a search warrant on the home where the owner, 34-year-old, Matt Naff, was arrested and jailed. The...
Lyme disease: Ticks may be trouble this year
Lyme disease: Ticks may be trouble this year

In the past five years, cases of Lyme disease have more than doubled in Ohio as the tick population has surged. That means parents should take some extra steps this year to avoid the little critter. “Ticks can carry Lyme disease, as well as several other diseases” says Bethany Linegang, RN, MSN, infection preventionist at Dayton Children&rsquo...
Police: Mom admits shooting two kids, asking third to help with bodies
Police: Mom admits shooting two kids, asking third to help with bodies

Claudena Marie Helton crossed her handcuffed arms and stared in one direction Monday as a municipal court judge set her bond at $1 million during a video arraignment. The 30-year-old Dayton mother accused of shooting her 8-year-old daughter Khmorra and 6-year-old son Kaiden in the head — and asking her third child to help drag their bodies outside...
New Boonshoft Museum exhibit gives visitors real-time view of global weather patterns
New Boonshoft Museum exhibit gives visitors real-time view of global weather patterns

Every day, our Storm Center 7 team shows you the weather around the Miami Valley and beyond. We show you where there are clouds, when the rain will hit and how to prepare for severe weather. Now, our Storm Center 7 team would like to invite you to see our planet in a whole new way through a partnership with the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and the...
Middletown picks top Lakota official as new superintendent
Middletown picks top Lakota official as new superintendent

One of the rising stars of Lakota Local Schools will become the new leader of Middletown City Schools, the Journal-News was the first to report Monday. Marlon Styles Jr., the executive director of curriculum and instruction for Lakota, was chosen through unanimous vote by the Middletown Board of Education on Monday evening as the district’s next...
More Stories