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Alamance man loses the crying game

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An Alamance County man on trial for carjacking should bear responsibility for his plan to cry on the witness stand, a panel of judges for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

The three-member panel denied Marvin Davis' appeal of a 2012 conviction on charges of carjacking and brandishing a firearm in an act of violence. Davis had argued there was insufficient evidence to support the carjacking conviction, and that the testimony of a jailhouse informant, who alleged that Davis hatched a plan to weep on the witness stand to garner sympathy from jurors, should have been prohibited.

During the trial, the victim, Addison Woods, testified that Davis and another man, Adam Bradley, approached him during a house party in Burlington. Woods claimed that Bradley struck him in the head with a pistol and grabbed the keys to his 1994 Honda Accord—and that Davis fished through his pockets and took his wallet. Davis and Bradley then left, telling Woods they would return with his car later, Woods testified. 

During trial Davis claimed that he merely borrowed Woods' car. A former cellmate of Davis' at the Alamance County Jail testified that Davis told him that he'd planned the attack in order to conduct a drug deal, and then tried to bribe Woods with drugs in exchange for dropping the charges.

According to the informant, Davis devised a plan to cry on the witness stand to elicit sympathy from the jurors.

In his appeal, Davis argued that the jailhouse informant's testimony wasn't relevant. The 4th Circuit judges, however, disagreed, stating, "Davis's plan to cry on the stand tends to prove his consciousness of guilt, and thus is relevant."

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