Independence, Mo. A suburban Kansas City man convicted of murder in the videotaped sex slaying of a 41-year-old woman is a rapist whose crimes have spanned two decades and become more intense over time, prosecutors told jurors on Friday.
In urging the jury to recommend the death penalty for Richard Davis, prosecutors said that the 44-year-old Independence man raped a woman in 1987 and assaulted a 5-year-old girl while on the run from authorities in 2006.
The jury on Thursday found Davis guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, and assault in the May 2006 slaying of Marsha Spicer, of Independence. He also was convicted of kidnapping, rape, sodomy and assault in the attack of 36-year-old Michelle Huff-Ricci a month earlier. He was convicted of 25 of 26 counts in all. Both Spicer's death and the attack on Huff-Ricci were recorded on videotapes that became key evidence in the trial.
Davis 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.
In opening statements Friday in the penalty phase of Davis' trial, assistant Jackson County prosecutor Ted Hunt said a 1987 rape that Davis committed against a woman in Lafayette County was similar to the attacks on Spicer and Huff-Ricci. However, Davis acted alone in the 1987 rape and the victim, who was in her 20s, survived. Davis spent nearly 18 years in prison for the rape.
Defense attorney Tom Jacquinot, meanwhile, described Davis' violent childhood, saying he was physically abused and became "sexually sick" at a young age. Jacquinot also alluded to sexual abuse suffered by Davis and his siblings.
Davis was able to overcome drug addiction, Jacquinot said, "but the sexual past, Rick never could face."