Mark Davis was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the murder of Orville Landis. According to court documents Mark Davis would rob and murder Orville Landis following a night of drinking. Mark Davis was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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|DAVIS, MARK A
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[Davis] came to St. Petersburg, Florida, during late June 1985, and immediately prior to the murder of Orville Landis apparently had been living in the parking lot of Gandy Efficiency Apartments. On July 1, 1985, Landis was moving into one of the apartments, and [Davis] offered to assist him. Subsequent to moving, the two men began drinking beer together, and [Davis] borrowed money from Landis. Witnesses testified that Landis had approximately $500 in cash that day. [Davis] told Kimberly Rieck, a resident of the apartment complex, that he planned to get Landis drunk and “see what he could get out of him.” During approximately the same time, [Davis] told Beverly Castle, another resident, that he was going to “rip him [Landis] off and do him in.” Shortly thereafter, Landis and [Davis] were seen arguing about money and they went to Landis’ apartment.
Landis was last seen alive on July 1, 1985, at approximately 8:30 p.m. Castle testified that [Davis] appeared at her door at about midnight and told her that he had to leave town right away, and would not be seen for two or three years. Castle observed [Davis] driving away in Landis’ car. During the afternoon of July 2, Castle became concerned and had Landis’ apartment window opened, through which she observed him lying on his bed in a pool of blood.
When the police arrived they found Landis’ wallet empty of all but a dollar bill. A fingerprint found on a beer can in the apartment was later identified as [Davis’s]. The medical examiner testified that the victim sustained multiple stab wounds to the back, chest, and neck; multiple blows to the face; was choked or hit with sufficient force to break his hyoid bone; was intoxicated to a degree that impaired his ability to defend himself; and was alive and conscious when each injury was inflicted. The evidence showed that the slashes to the victim’s throat were made with a small-bladed knife, which was broken during the attack, and the wounds to the chest and back were made with a large butcher knife, found at the crime scene.
[Davis] confessed to the police to the killing, as well as to the taking of Landis’ money and car. He also told a fellow inmate that he killed Landis but expected to “get second degree,” despite his confession, by claiming self-defense.