Grandmother: Curtis got justice

Published 12:02 am Thursday, September 20, 2012



“Curtis got justice today,” said Denise Harrell moments after her son, John Curtis Davis III, was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for murdering her 4-year-old grandson, Curtis Ruede, in 2010.

Harrell said the two years since Davis shot Ruede in the chest with a pellet gun in a fit of anger have been horrible, but still, she was pleased with the day’s outcome.

“I am, really,” Harrell said. “That’s my son and that was my first grandson. I love (Davis), but he had to be punished.”

Davis, 28, who was charged with capital murder in the shooting, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the lesser-included offense of reckless murder before specially appointed Circuit Court Judge David Baker. Davis was represented by local attorneys, Rod Sylvester and Mark Christensen.

A group of family and friends – including Ruede’s mother and grandmother – attended the proceedings. Tensions were high, with some leaving the courtroom at points during the more than two-hour proceeding.

Among those was family friend, Teresa Edgar, who said she felt Davis should have been put to death. But Harrell disagreed.

“I just couldn’t live with that,” she said. “One person had already been killed, I couldn’t take it if it was another.”

Harrell said she struggles daily to make sense of the shooting. She talked briefly about her son’s battle with anger management issues, but maintained Davis and Ruede were close.

“(Davis) loved that boy,” she said. “That’s why it don’t feel right. I know he didn’t mean to take that gun and kill Curtis. He was so protective of Curtis. He would have never have made up his mind to hurt him.

“Now, we have to go on, knowing that’s what happened,” she said.­