Baltimore boxing champion Gervonta Davis pleaded guilty on Thursday to four traffic offenses in connection to a hit-and-run in 2020 that injured four people — including a pregnant woman — with no agreement in place on the sentence.
Davis, 28, now of Parkland, Florida, was scheduled to stand trial in Baltimore Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Althea M. Handy will determine the punishment for the crime at sentencing on May 5.
Before proceeding with the plea agreement, Michael Tomko, Davis’ attorney, asked the judge whether she cared if his client entered an Alford plea in the case. That’s when people acknowledge that prosecutors have enough evidence to secure a conviction but do not admit guilt.
“I think the victims would care,” Handy replied.
Davis responded to questions from his attorney with yes and no answers. At several points, Handy asked him to speak louder in court.
Assistant State’s Attorney David Owens later read a statement of facts to support the traffic offenses:
On Nov. 5, 2020, Davis appeared at a club in downtown Baltimore and asked City Hall for a police escort to the Four Seasons Hotel. One Baltimore Police vehicle drove in front of his 2020 Lamborghini Urus, while another followed behind a caravan.
At one point, Davis turned away from the police escort. He then ran a red light at about 1:50 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. and Washington boulevards, hit a 2004 Toyota Solara and crashed into the fence of a 7-Eleven.
Later, another car showed up on the scene. Davis and a woman got in and left. Surveillance cameras later captured him getting out of the vehicle and entering the hotel.
Davis only had an ID card, and his driving privileges were suspended and revoked because of points, according to Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration records.
Following the hearing, Davis left without speaking to reporters. He’s free on his own recognizance in the case.
Circuit Judge Melissa M. Phinn previously rejected a proposed plea agreement in the case that called for Davis to serve no jail time. That’s after one of the people who was injured, Jyair Smith, spoke and expressed her opposition to the deal.
“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.”
Smith’s civil attorney, Gil Amaral, said firefighters had to extricate his client from the car, adding that she suffered a serious knee injury.
“Nobody from that car that hit them got out of the car and had the decency to help any of the people in my client’s car,” Amaral said. “Think about that for a minute.”
Davis is a West Baltimore native who’s nicknamed “Tank” and has a perfect 28-0 boxing record with 26 knockouts. He’s the current World Boxing Association lightweight world champion.
But in the last several years, Davis has experienced a number of legal issues.
In 2020, Davis turned himself into the Coral Gables Police Department on a charge of battery after a cellphone video that law enforcement described as showing him “battering his former girlfriend” with whom he has a child went viral.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office later dropped the charges after stating that it could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt in part because Davis’ ex-girlfriend was unwilling to cooperate with the prosecution.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office in 2022 arrested Davis on a charge of battery after a woman reported that he slapped her on the side of the head inside his mansion. They’re raising a 1-year-old daughter together, according to court documents.
In a post on Instagram that’s since been deleted, Davis denied the allegations and wrote, “IM NOT A MONSTER I BEEN QUIET FOR TOO LONG.”
The woman has since filed an affidavit in which she wrote that she does not wish to testify and that it is her “absolute, complete, and full desire that this criminal prosecution be withdrawn and terminated.”
The Baltimore Banner does not identify people who report that they’re survivors of sexual assault or domestic violence.
Davis is set to be arraigned on Feb. 23 in Broward County Court in that case. He’s free on $1,000 bond.