Circuit Judge Marco Roldan says the state will pay for any counseling a juror may need after viewing images of rape, torture and death.
The jury in the Richard D. Davis trial viewed 90 minutes of videotape Wednesday that depicted violent sex abuse and torture toward two women.
The videos showed Marsha Spicer and Michelle Huff-Ricci being bound, raped, strangled and suffocated at the hands of Davis and Dena Riley.
Davis and Riley are accused of killing and sexually abusing and videotaping the depravity against Spicer and Huff-Ricci in 2006. Jackson County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Davis, whose capital murder jury trial was in its fifth day on Wednesday at the Jackson County Courthouse Annex in Independence. Riley is to go on trial next year.
The public did not view the video. Only the jury, prosecutors and defense attorneys saw the footage.
Three monitors were set-up in the jury box. Monitors were placed behind the prosecution and defense tables so the attorneys could watch.
Before the video played and the jury was not in court, Jackson County Circuit Judge Marco A. Roldan announced the state of Missouri will pay for any counseling a juror may need after the case has concluded, especially after viewing the tape. If the juror doesn’t have insurance that covers the counseling, the government will pay for it if needed.
“These people have no choice,” Roldan said. “They’re just following their civic duty. This is not of their own free will.”
Roldan saw the video before the trial started to decide on a motion filed by Davis to suppress the playing of the tape. He determined the video must be entered into evidence but the public wouldn’t get to see it.
However, the public heard disturbing sounds from the tape. The audible sounded like women who were loudly gagging, viciously screaming in pain, intense slapping and punching, deep moaning and wailing.
Also in the audio, you could hear the sound of someone unrolling duct tape. The prosecution alleges Davis and Riley taped the hands of Marsha Spicer with duct tape and plastic ties. Also, they say her face was taped up.
The jury appeared to be calm and composed when viewing the disturbing footage. However, one female juror covered her mouth with a handkerchief or tissue paper while she was watching.
An Independence Police detective Wednesday testified that police confiscated four JVC tapes that Davis hid in the ceiling at his place of employment. The tapes totaled 7 hours and 33 minutes of sex involving mostly threesomes with him and Riley, Michelle Huff-Ricci, Spicer and other women. It wasn’t all violent sex abuse. There was consensual sex on the tapes, an Independence Police Detective testified Wednesday.
The detective edited the tapes down to 90 minutes of film time.