LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - The jury found Michael Davis of murder Sunday, Judge Eugene Lucci from Lake County said. The jury deliberated for 14 hours. Davis killed a man when he drove his car into oncoming traffic, as a suicide attempt on July 4, 2017, in Willoughby hills.
Judge Lucci said Davis plead guilty on Count 1 Murder of Gregory Morawski and Count 6 Attempted Murder of Heather Culp.
Judge Lucci said Davis was found guilty of all eight charges, including two other variations of murder of Greg Morawski (Counts 2 & 3) and lesser offenses of two variations of Felonious Assault (4 & 5, 7 & 8) as to each victim, but those all merge into the Murder/Attempted Murder (Counts 1 & 6). For the guilty findings on Counts 1 and 6, the state proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Davis purposely caused the crash with the intent to end life, Morawski dying and Culp being seriously injured.
Judge Lucci said the jury did not find by a preponderance of the evidence that Davis was insane at the time of the crimes.
Insanity means that he did not know, as a result of severe mental illness, right from wrong at the time, in committing the crimes.
Davis faces life with parole and eligibility after 15 years on the murder, and 3-11 years on the attempted murder, Judge Lucci said.
The two possible sentences Davis faces is: Life with parole eligibility after 15 years; or life with parole eligibility after 18 to 26 years, Judge Lucci said.
Judge Lucci said he will sentence Davis on Monday, December 2, 2019, at 9 a.m. The judge said he also revoked Davis bond, and committed him to jail pending sentence, and also put him on a suicide alert.
A failed attempt at suicide; that’s why a man accelerated and plowed into another car, according to prosecutors.
The crash happened on July 4, 2017 on Chardon Road in Willoughby Hills.
Morawski, 26, was killed, and his fiancee was seriously injured.
Davis was arrested and charged with multiple counts of murder, as well as felonious assault.
“It’s been so long and it’s been a process for us, but for it to finally be here, we’re ready for it to be over,” said Morawski’s sister, MaryBeth. She continued, “He was known for his big bear hugs he would give people. He would just pick you up off your feet and give you a huge hug.”
Lake County prosecutors said Davis made two unsuccessful suicide attempts before getting into his car and driving with at least 20 anti-psychotic drugs in his system.
“When the defendant uses his car as a deadly weapon, as the evidence will show, that he did here, and that car proved to be deadly. He used it in a manner calculated to destroy life,” the prosecutor said.
Davis pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His attorney argues he was hearing voices and one of those voices told him to accelerate and turn left.
“Michael’s mindset, which you’ll be trying to determine, was not created in one day. It was the manifestation over many many years,” said the defense attorney.
Morawski’s family wants Davis held responsible for the life he too quickly stole.
“It’s not going to bring him back, but we are hoping for justice,” MaryBeth said.
The trial is expected to last through the week.
19 News will be following it and keep you updated on the latest developments.