Killer hurt family before, was wanted by law enforcement when child died

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Opp man who has confessed to murdering his 4-year-old nephew had a history of domestic violence and was wanted by law enforcement at the time of the child’s death, court records show.

John Curtis Davis, 25, confessed to shooting Curtis Alexander Ruede point-blank in the chest with a .177-caliber, 4.5 mm air rifle at a West Cummings Avenue home, where the two lived with Davis’ mother.

District court records paint a picture of a man with an ever-increasing anger management problem.

Locally, Davis was convicted of three separate incidents of third-degree domestic violence/harassment beginning in March 2007. Court records also indicated a separate conviction for domestic violence in Crenshaw County; however, county or municipal officials there could make no official confirmation by press time.

Davis’ first brush with law enforcement came March 16, 2007, when his girlfriend accused him of physically attacking her by choking her around the neck. He later pleaded guilty and was given a $500 fine, a one-year suspended jail sentence and 24 months of probation.

Less than two months later, on May 5, 2007, court records show Davis verbally and physically attacked his mother with a knife, cutting her on the forearm after the two got into an altercation over text messages.

On Nov. 26, 2009, Davis was again charged with domestic violence, following another altercation with his mother.

This time, court records stated, “(His mother) stated her son was out by the road with two small children and was told to come back to the house. At that time, (Davis) started cussing at his mother. He then stood up, got in her face, and she stated she felt threatened by him. She slapped him in the face, and he hit her in the head, towards the back of her neck while she was trying to duck out of the way.”

Davis later pleaded guilty to both incidents and was fined $1,000 in each case and was again given a one-year suspended jail sentence and 24 months of probation. His probation was then revoked, and he was sentenced to 180 days in jail and to undergo anger management counseling within 30 days of his release from jail.

There was no indication in the file as to whether or not Davis completed the mandated counseling.

Jail records indicate Davis also served 17 days in the county jail following an arrest on Feb. 13, 2010, for violation of a protection from abuse order.

On May 26, 2010, warrants were issued for his arrest for failure to pay fines attached to each of his three domestic violence convictions. Those warrants were served when he was booked into the county jail Friday after confessing to murdering his nephew.

He is charged with capital murder and could be sentenced to life without parole or death for the crime.

Currently, he is being held in the Covington County Jail without bond, awaiting trial.