Jury: Woman guilty of hindering prosecution

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Covington County jury found an Opp woman guilty of hindering prosecution this week.

Trial evidence showed that on Aug. 26, 2014, Davis’s husband, Tacomus James, attacked another man with a baseball bat after Davis claimed she was having a sexual relationship with the man.

Davis was present when James struck the man, fracturing his skull and she and James fled the scene together.

After the attack, Opp Police Department officers went to their home.

Testimony showed that no one answered the door, although Davis’ car was parked at the home and officers noticed the engine still felt hot.

OPD Lt. Corey Boothe spoke with Davis the next morning, and she said that she did not know where James was, and that Boothe could search their home at 11 a.m.

Witness testimony revealed Davis then warned James, who asked a neighbor to take him to Dothan shortly before 11 a.m., that morning.

James was arrested on Aug. 28, and Davis was charged with hindering prosecution I.

James later pleaded guilty to assault I.

Assistant District Attorney Emmett Massey, prosecuted the case.

“A person commits the crime of hindering prosecution if they hide or conceal or warn a person they know is wanted by law enforcement,” he said. “Although Davis knew officers were looking for Tacomus James – and why they were looking for him – she hid him out and warned him to get out of town. I appreciate Opp Police Department for their persistence and hard work in the face of her hindrance, specifically Corey Boothe, Heather Koerner, Walter Inabinett and former Opp Police Officer Quinton Benton. They did an outstanding job. I also appreciate the jury’s time, dedication and deliberation in this case.”

Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald said, “Ms. Davis has a long history with the Opp Police Department, and we are pleased with the court case and the findings of the jury.”

“The notion that ‘helping a loved one’ can be a crime is sometimes hard for people to grasp. Hindering Prosecution I is a violent offense, with good reason,” District Attorney Walt Merrell said. “In this case, Tanya Davis watched her husband brutally beat another man with a baseball bat, and then she helped him avoid arrest. Emmett did an excellent job presenting this case so the jury could understand the gravity of Davis’s actions.”

Circuit Judge Lex Short will sentence Davis on March 10.

She is being held without bond. Hindering prosecution I is a Class C felony.

Davis has four prior felony convictions, and under the Habitual Felony Offender Act, she is subject to a sentencing range of 15 years up to life in prison.