Supreme Court turns down Davis appeal on child pornography charges

A Pine Bluff man sentenced to prison on child pornography charges failed to convince the Arkansas Supreme Court that he was wrongly convicted.

Alonzo Davis argued that his court-appointed attorney was ineffective, that he was innocent of the crimes, and that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction.

After a two-day trial in May 2012, Circuit Judge Jodi Raines Dennis sentenced Davis to a total of nine years in prison after a jury found him guilty of 11 counts of possessing child pornography that had been downloaded onto his computer.

During the trial, investigators reported finding more than 100 minutes of video on four CDs that were located in Davis’ apartment, as well as photographs on the hard drive of his computer.

Davis was arrested after an investigation by the Arkansas State Police Internet Crimes Against Children (CAC) unit in October 2010.

Because Davis filed the appeal on his own, the Supreme Court asked for and received an affidavit from Davis’ attorney, Chris Hays, responding to Davis’ allegations.

In that affidavit, Hays said Davis was offered a plea bargain that called for him serving a total of 40 years in prison, an offer Davis declined before the trial began. After the conviction and sentence, Hays said he discussed an appeal with Davis and explained that if the appeal was successful, Davis could face a second trial and receive a sentence that could exceed the nine years imposed by Dennis.

Hays also submitted an affidavit signed by Davis stating that he had decided not to appeal his conviction and that the decision was made knowingly and intelligently.

In his appeal, Davis admitted signing the affidavit, but claimed he would not have been convicted if Hays had been effective.

The court ruling said that because Davis had signed an affidavit clearly stating that he did not want to appeal, he has not demonstrated good cause to proceed with a late appeal.