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Union Butterfield Killer Guilty on All Counts

September 28, 1996

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) _ A factory worker who bought a rifle two days after he was fired and killed three of his former co-workers was convicted on all three counts of murder Friday. He faces the death penalty or life in prison.

The jury deliberated less than 30 minutes before finding James Floyd Davis, 48, guilty of murder as well as two assault charges. His sentencing begins Monday.

On May 17, 1995, Davis walked into a pawn shop and bought the rifle he used hours later to kill Anthony Balogh, 42; Gerald Allman, 52; and Frank Knox, 62, in a shooting rampage at the Union Butterfield plant.

Assistant Public Defender Faye Burner told jurors in her closing argument that Davis had delusions and heard voices that commanded him to kill.

Prosecutors argued that Davis planned his attack and wanted revenge against the management that fired him for fighting with co-workers.

``Why didn’t the voices tell him on the 15th (when Davis was fired) to get his gun and kill people?″ District Attorney Ron Moore asked? ``He didn’t because he planned it out. He knew he would kill a lot of people.″

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