Stating that he has demonstrated a “consistent pattern of disobeying the law,” a judge on Friday sentenced Baltimore boxing champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis to 90 days of home detention plus three years’ probation for a hit-and-run that injured four people — including a pregnant woman — in 2020.
Before handing down the punishment on four traffic offenses, Baltimore Circuit Judge Althea Handy excoriated Davis, 28, now of Parkland, Florida, for his refusal to apologize to one of the women hurt in the crash. Jyair Smith, the injured woman, tearfully recounted how he left the scene without helping her “like I didn’t matter at all.”
“Miss Smith, you do matter. And what you went through matters,” said Handy, who noted how Davis did not apologize in court. “Three words: ‘I am sorry.’ And he could not be man enough to do that.”
Handy noted that Davis did not have a valid driver’s license yet had racked up a number of prior infractions, including drunken driving in 2018.
Though Handy raised the specter of incarceration throughout the proceeding and told Davis that it would not be a punishment if she sentenced him to house arrest at his “beautiful home in Florida,” she suspended all prison time except for 90 days.
She said she’d allow him to serve that sentence on home detention in Baltimore. That’s when his longtime coach and trainer, Calvin Ford, who had asked for leniency earlier in the hearing, jumped up and volunteered his house. “Yes,” Ford said. “He’s like my son.”
Besides spending time in home detention, Davis has to perform 200 hours of community service, complete a program at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland and take part in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel. He must pay a $100 fine.
The sentencing came just days after Davis scored a seventh-round technical knockout of Ryan Garcia in Las Vegas in one of the most anticipated fights in recent memory.
Davis has a perfect 29-0 boxing record with 27 KOs. He grew up in West Baltimore.
On Nov. 5, 2020, Davis was at Medusa Restaurant & Lounge in downtown Baltimore and left in a 2020 Lamborghini Urus to head to the Four Seasons Hotel. Baltimore Police were escorting him.
But Davis eventually turned away from his police escort. He then ran a red light at about 1:50 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. and Washington boulevards, struck a 2004 Toyota Solara and crashed into the fence of a 7-Eleven.
Later, another car showed up at the scene. Davis and a woman got in the vehicle and left.
Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn previously rejected a proposed plea agreement that would have spared him incarceration. That’s after Smith spoke out in opposition to that deal.
At the sentencing, Smith said she wished Davis would receive a “more severe punishment.” She said she suffered a life-changing knee injury and cannot run or stand for long periods.
“I never once received an apology,” Smith said. “That’s been weighing on me heavy.”
Following the crash, Smith said she looked Davis in the eye, told him that she was pregnant and begged for help. “He looked at me. He left,” she said. “My car was smoking.”
Assistant State’s Attorney David Owens once again recommended a sentence that did not include incarceration, stating that he was “ethically bound” to stand behind the offer he had previously extended in the case.
Meanwhile, Michael Tomko, Davis’ attorney, asked the judge to hand down a “reasonable sentence.”
Tomko spoke at length about how his client has become a master of his profession and put himself in a position to be a transcendent person in the world of boxing. That’s in addition to now being someone children look up to in Baltimore.
Later, Tomko pushed back against the suggestion that Davis was heartless, noting that he helped his passenger. Tomko said his client has not been driving since the crash.
Davis, he said, wants to provide for his family and give back to the community.
”Judge, he’s a bad driver. And maybe he’s a knucklehead,” Tomko said. “He has matured.”
Davis did not make a statement. He later left the Elijah E. Cummings Courthouse without speaking to reporters and got into an awaiting black Chevrolet Suburban.
Handy warned Davis that if he violates his probation, he is looking at time in the Maryland Division of Corrections.
When Tomko asked if his client could leave the house to train at the gym, Handy replied, “No.” She then chastised Davis for what she described as holding his head down and making faces.
“If you prefer, you can do this in the city jail,” Handy said. “And maybe they have a gym there.”
But Handy later said she’d consider a more specific request to allow Davis to train at the gym. Restitution was not resolved at the hearing.
The sentencing is not the end of his legal troubles.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office arrested Davis on a charge of battery after a woman reported that he slapped her on the right side of her head at his mansion on Dec. 27, 2022.
In a now-deleted post on Instagram, Davis denied that he put his hands on anyone, writing, “IM NOT A MONSTER I BEEN QUIET FOR TOO LONG.”
The woman has since filed an affidavit stating that she does not wish to testify. She wrote that it is her “absolute, complete, and full desire that this criminal prosecution be withdrawn and terminated.” The case, though, remains pending.
The Baltimore Banner does not identify people who report that they are survivors of domestic violence.
Davis is set to appear back in Broward County Court on May 26.