Independence, Mo. A suburban Kansas City man was found guilty Thursday of the videotaped sexual torture and slaying of a 41-year-old woman.
Richard D. Davis, 44, of Independence, was found guilty of 25 counts, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape, sodomy and assault in attacks on Marsha Spicer, of Independence, and Michelle Huff-Ricci, 36. The murder charge was for Spicer's May 2006 death.
Davis, who showed no emotion as the verdict was read, was acquitted on one count of first-degree assault related to the attack on Huff-Ricci. Her charred remains were found in neighboring Clay County, where Davis and his girlfriend, Dena Riley, are charged with capital murder for her April 2006 suffocation.
Riley also is scheduled to go to trial next year in Spicer's killing.
Jurors, who deliberated for less than four hours Thursday, will now determine whether Davis will face the death penalty. The sentencing portion of the trial was scheduled to begin today.
The key evidence in the case was videotapes that prosecutors say Davis and Riley made of the attacks on Spicer and Huff-Ricci to fulfill Davis' violent sexual fantasies. During the weeklong trial, jurors watched graphic DVD recordings taken from those tapes, one of which showed Spicer's death.
During closing arguments, assistant Jackson County prosecutor Tammy Dickinson told jurors that Davis held Spicer down at his apartment while Riley sat on Spicer's face and smothered her. She added that Davis and Riley thought they had made mistakes in the earlier sexual torture of Huff-Ricci and wanted to perfect their methods with Spicer.
Defense attorney Tom Jacquinot admitted that Davis killed Spicer but urged jurors to find him guilty of second-degree murder, which would have spared him a possible death sentence. Jacquinot argued that the slaying was not planned and that Davis became caught up in his own "horrible fantasies" about killing.
Riley and Davis also have been indicted in Kansas on a federal charge of kidnapping a 5-year-old southeast Kansas girl related to Davis after fleeing the Kansas City area.