Black murderer finally goes to jail
Closing arguments in 1985 Black-on-White rape-murder trial in San Francisco
Jurors heard closing arguments Thursday in a 22-year-old San Francisco murder case in which the only evidence against the defendant was DNA he allegedly left behind during the rape of the 28-year-old victim. Prosecutor Claudia Phillips said the odds that someone other than the defendant, John Davis, committed the Dec. 4, 1985, burglary, rape and fatal stabbing of Barbara Martz were in the quadrillions-to-1 and quintillions-to-1, based on the rarity of his DNA pattern. A quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zeroes; a quintillion is a 1 followed by 18 zeroes. “Modern science has finally caught up with Mr. Davis,” Phillips told the jury in San Francisco Superior Court. “Modern science tells you who raped and murdered Barbara Martz.” But Davis’ defense attorney challenged the reliability of the DNA evidence while at the same time suggesting several theories, including that Martz may have had consensual sex with Davis sometime before the slaying and that someone else committed the killing. Davis told police, however, that he did not know Martz and had never been in her home. He told investigators, “I don’t remember raping nobody,” authorities said.