Judge rejects plea deal that would have spared boxer Gervonta Davis jail time

Published on: September 21, 2022 9:58 AM EDT|Updated on: September 23, 2022 5:39 PM EDT

A judge rejected a plea offer extended by prosecutors to Baltimore boxing champion Gervonta Davis that would have allowed him to avoid jail time in connection to a 2020 hit-and-run crash in downtown Baltimore.

Davis, 27, is now set for a two-day trial starting Dec. 12. The West Baltimore native, who has a perfect 27-0 boxing record with 25 knockouts, hinted on Instagram earlier this month that he planned to return to the ring in December.

Davis had accepted a deal that called for a one-year suspended sentence with two months of home confinement and work release, related to charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and damage to property, driving on a revoked license and running a red light.

But one of the victims of the crash, Jyair Smith, told Judge Melissa Phinn that she had suffered serious injuries and thought the plea deal was unfair. Smith was pregnant at the time of the crash, and said she looked Davis in the eyes and asked him for help before he fled. She said she suffered a serious knee injury and other complications.

“I don’t think this is acceptable either,” Phinn said. “The court will not accept it.”

The plea offer was significantly lighter than what prosecutors had offered Davis previously. In March, he rejected a deal that called for one year with all but 120 days suspended, a sentence of about four months.

Davis is charged with 14 counts, all of them misdemeanors, with most serious charges each carrying up to a year in jail.

Assistant State’s Attorney David Owens revealed in court that Davis had reached civil settlements with three victims from the crash. Smith’s attorney, Gil Amaral, said Davis’ team has ignored their attempts to reach a settlement.

Amaral called the home confinement sentence with work release “a nothing for this case. A nothing.”

“She wants the court to know that she won’t be satisfied with anything other than a period of incarceration in order to make sure this person gets the message,” Amaral told Phinn.

The charges stem from a crash that occurred Nov. 5, 2020 after Davis had been at a club celebrating his birthday and his latest win in the ring.

A police report alleged Davis was traveling in a 2020 Lamborghini Urus SUV southbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at around 1:50 a.m. when he ran a red light and struck a 2004 Toyota Solara. The report says the Solara’s airbags deployed and it was “destroyed,” and four people were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

Smith told Phinn on Wednesday that she was trapped in the car and asked Davis for help.

“I begged Mr. Gervonta Davis; I looked him in his eyes,” Smith said. “I said I have to get home to my daughter, I’m pregnant. He never once came over to help me. He got his things and left” the scene, she said.

She said her vehicle was smoking and she was screaming, and that others eventually helped her out of the car, prying the door open.

Prosecutors said witness accounts and video revealed that a car arrived at the scene and people began transferring items into the car from the Lamborghini. They said Davis and an unidentified female passenger were captured leaving in the second car.

The Lamborghini, which has a base list price of $200,000 and was registered to another person, was ditched.

Smith’s car was destroyed, and she said she suffered a serious knee injury that her doctor told her will never be the same. She also had to undergo gall bladder surgery.

“I can’t do the things I used to do,” she said. “I can’t go to the park. I can’t even work because I can’t stand for more than an hour. I’m just trying to get myself back to normal.”

Owens, the prosecutor, said Smith is seeking $450,000 in restitution, of which $420,000 is for pain and suffering. Owens said such relief is not permitted by restitution laws. Smith has a pending civil lawsuit against Davis.