Convicted of second-degree murder and robbery in 2005, Davon R. Hayes filed a petition in federal court today seeking a new trial and claiming that his alibi witnesses were ignored by defense counsel.
Hayes, now 28, of East Liberty, was 18 at the time of the 2003 robbery of Bernice's Cafe, a grocery store in East Liberty. Investigators said he confessed to being the lookout for the robbery, which resulted in the death of shopkeeper William Anderson, 60, of Homewood. Hayes' petition claims that he made the confession as a result of unfair interrogation tactics and his youth and mental health issues.
Hayes claims that his public defender made no effort to subpoena four alibi witnesses who would have testified that he was smoking in a park at the time of the robbery. Hayes' new attorney, Mark Rubenstein, said an East Liberty church recently helped to locate the four witnesses and obtained affidavits supporting the alibi.
Mr. Rubenstein said that Hayes wants a "new trial and to be found not guilty and go home."
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord