Cullen Davis Fortune In Hands Of Jury
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ With a family fortune at stake, a civil court jury today deliberated whether oil heir Cullen Davis was the man in black who gunned down a 12-year- old girl in 1976 and left her to die on the floor of his $6 million mansion.
Andrea Wilborn, Davis’ stepdaughter, was the first to die in a midnight shooting spree that left one other person dead. Two people were critically wounded.
The defendant’s ex-wife, Priscilla, maintains Davis, 53, was the bewigged intruder who wounded her and killed her boyfriend, Stan Farr, 30, and Andrea, her daughter by a previous marriage.
Her attorneys in the $15.5 million civil suit portrayed Davis as a cruel killer, while the defense said there was no evidence he gunned down his stepdaughter.
The jury in the wrongful death lawsuit got the case Tuesday afternoon and deliberated briefly before recessing for the night.
Bubba Gavrel, then 22 and left partially paralyzed by the assailant’s bullet, settled his own personal injury suit against Davis last year for land and cash reportedly totaling $1 million.
A jury acquitted Davis of the child’s murder in 1977 but that verdict did not prevent the current lawsuit.
The remaining murder and attempted murder charges against Davis were dismissed in 1979 after a Fort Worth jury acquitted him in an unrelated murder-for-hire scheme.
Mrs. Davis, 45, and her second husband, Jack Wilborn, 66, asked jurors on Tuesday for $15.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
In their final arguments on Tuesday, plaintiffs’ attorneys said the evidence showed Davis was the gunman.
″This case screams for justice,″ said attorney Bob Gibbins. ″This is your oportuinty to show the citizens of this community and this nation that you are not going to be swayed by the wealth and power of this defendant.″
Defense lawyer Steve Sumner said there was no physical evidence linking Davis to the shootings and no evidence to suggest that something triggered a blind rage that day.
″Much of the evidence is inconsistent with Cullen being anywhere near 4200 Mockingbird Lane that night,″ Sumner said.