Family of victims in Graves' case react to exoneration

October 30, 2010 8:46:03 PM PDT
A death row inmate is finally free after years. Now, the family members of the victims he'd been accused of killing are reacting to his release. They say the release was justified, but it's still hard for them to accept.

We told you earlier this week that Anthony Graves was let out of jail after capital murder charges were dropped against him. He'd been convicted of helping another man kill six people in Somerville in 1992.

Saying it's been a nightmare for the past 18 years, Keith and Alan Davis want to bring back attention to the victims who died in 1992 -- six of their family members.

"I dont want the case just to be dropped and forgotten, but it's time for me, my brother and sister and the rest of my family to have peace," said Alan Davis, a family member of the victims.

Bobbie Joyce Davis, 46, Nicole Davis, Lea 'Erin Davis, Brittany Davis, Jason Davis and Denitra Davis were all stabbed repeatedly in their Somerville home in August 1992. Nicole Davis also was shot several times. The victims were then doused in gasoline and set on fire, causing their home to burn down.

Robert Earl Carter and Graves were both charged and convicted of capital murder in the crime. During Graves' trial, Carter had testified against him, but before he was executed in 2000, he recanted his earlier testimony and said Graves was innocent.

Alan and Keith Davis say they support the release of Graves this week and believe he was wrongly convicted. However, the brothers also say Graves' release is hard to accept because the Davis family were led to believe for the past 18 years Graves was guilty.

Keith and Alan Davis told us they believe Carter is responsible, but they have differing opinions regarding who else may have been involved.

"Whether we do or not, it's not going to bring back my mother, or my daughter or my sister, my niece and my nephew," Keith Davis said. "And for the next 20 years, or 18 more years, we're gonna still have to live with the fact that on holidays, we look for places to go. We don't have a home to go to, so none of that stuff is gonna change."

Keith lost his mother and two daughters -- Lea 'Erin, 5, and 6-year-old Brittany -- in the tragedy.

The brothers say they just don't want anyone else to go through what their family had to endure.

"If there is a district attorney or defense attorney that is manipulating evidence, then they should have to be held accountable because they have not only destroyed one person's life and his family, but the victims' family also," Keith Davis said.

The Davis brothers also had harsh words for the district attorney orginialy involved, Charles Sebesta, saying, "He did a bad job."

We spoke with Graves by phone on Saturday night. He told me the Davis family deserves justice and prays they will be able to find it. The Davis family says they don't want people to forget six members of their family were murdered, and they may never know if more than one person committed the crime.


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