Springfield man guilty in woman’s shooting death

Published: Friday, January 09, 2015 @ 11:13 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2015 @ 11:27 AM

UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m. (Aug. 20)

A Springfield man could face life in prison after he was found guilty on several charges in connection to the January shooting death of a Columbus woman.

Davon L. Watters, 26, of 325 E. John St., was convicted Wednesday on numerous charges related to the death of Marque Whaley, 24, on East Main Street in Springfield earlier this year. Police have said Watters fired shots from an assault rifle and one of the bullets hit Whaley, who died of her injuries.

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Watters is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. Friday, said Brian Driscoll, assistant Clark County prosecutor. Watters will face a mandatory sentence of 18 years to life on a murder charge, which carries a gun specification.

Watters was also convicted on additional charges that included felony murder, three counts of felonious assault, tampering with evidence and discharging a firearm from a prohibited premises.

The shooting occurred just after 2 a.m. on a Friday morning in January. A group of friends was leaving the Fun Bar, 241 E. Main St., in Springfield, when they heard gunfire, police said at the time.

Watters got in a car and fled eastbound on East Main Street, police said, while the group followed him in their car. They followed Watters for a mile up the road before his car crashed into a pole on East Main near North Florence Street and Watters reportedly fled on foot.

During their pursuit of Watters, two men inside the car noticed that Whaley, who was one of the passengers, had been shot in the head, according to the recording of the 9-1-1 call.

UPDATE @ 7 p.m. (Aug. 19)

A jury today found Davon Watters guilty on all charges in connection to the Jan. 9 shooting death of a 23-year-old Columbus woman.

Watters shot Marque Whaley in the head with an assault rifle in January on East Main Street in Springfield. She died of her injuries later that day at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

Jurors only deliberated for a little more than an hour before they handed a judge their decision following a two-day trial.

UPDATE @ 4:55 p.m. (Jan. 20): Davon Watters has been indicted on several felony charges, including murder, in the Jan. 9 shooting of 23-year-old Marque Whaley of Columbus, the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Watters, 25, is formally charged with murder, felony murder, three counts of felonious assault, discharge of a firearm on or near prohibited premises, illegal conveyance of prohibited items onto the grounds of a government facility and tampering with evidence.

A county grand jury returned the indictment Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE @12:30 p.m. (Jan. 12): Davon Watters, 25, of Springfield is in jail on $750,000 bond after he pleaded not guilty this morning in a court arraignment to a murder charge.

Watters was arrested early Friday morning after a group of friends called 911 to report a man with an assault rifle was shooting at them, said Springfield Police Chief Stephen Moody.

A 23-year-old Columbus woman who was visiting her boyfriend in Springfield was killed when one of the rounds hit her in the head, police said.

Watters was arrested on High Street not far from where he wrecked a vehicle after the shooting, Moody said.

He is currently booked in the Clark County Jail, according to jail records.

FIRST REPORT

A Springfield man allegedly armed with an assault rifle has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a Columbus woman on Friday.

Marque Whaley, 23, was shot in the head shortly after 2 a.m. in Springfield and then died shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton.

The suspected shooter is Davon Watters, 25, of Springfield, according to the Springfield Police Division. He is booked in the Clark County Jail on a charge of murder and will appear in court Monday morning for an arraignment, according to court records.

The shooting occurred just after 2 a.m. Friday. A group of friends was leaving the Fun Bar, 241 E. Main St., when they heard gunfire, Springfield Police Chief Stephen Moody said.

“Right in front of where they were parked, there was a car and there was a man outside the driver’s side with an assault rifle, firing at their car,” Moody said.

Watters, the accused shooter, got in a car and fled eastbound on East Main Street, Moody said, while the group followed him in their car. They followed the suspect for a mile up the road before the alleged gunman’s car crashed into a pole on East Main near North Florence Street and Watters reportedly fled on foot.

During their pursuit of Watters, two men inside the car noticed that Whaley, who was one of the passengers, had been shot in the head, according to the recording of the 9-1-1 call.

“Oh my… she’s hit … I think she hit in the head. Oh (expletive), she’s still breathing,” the caller said.

Whaley’s friends immediately drove her to Springfield Regional Medical Center, Moody said, and she was later transported to Miami Valley Hospital.

The victims didn’t provoke the attack, Moody said, and there was no altercation at the bar before shots were fired.

No one in the group that was fired upon returned gunfire at any point in the pursuit, he added, and no guns were found in the victim’s vehicle when they arrived at the hospital to seek treatment for Whaley.

“There was no time for them to get rid of anything,” Moody said. “They were innocent … they were victims and Ms. Whaley is an ultimate victim.”

Detectives continue to investigate the case and interview witnesses, Moody said.

Watters has previous criminal charges, but hasn’t been charged with a violent felony before, according to court records. In 2010, he was arrested for obstructing official business and was arrested in 2012 for possession of marijuana. Both are misdemeanor charges.