Gervonta Davis will have his day in court, though for a case where he was hoping for a different outcome.
A plea agreement between Davis and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office was rejected by judge Melissa Phinn during a hearing Wednesday morning at Circuit Court for Baltimore City, as first reported by The Baltimore Banner. Davis would have avoided jail time under the arrangement stemming from a November 2020 vehicular hit-and-run in his Baltimore hometown.
Instead, the unbeaten ring star will face a jury trial beginning December 12. According to court records, the trial is expected to last two days where Davis faces fourteen misdemeanor counts of traffic violations.
Davis faces a maximum of 50 months in prison if found guilty on all remaining charges. The most serious charge alleges that the boxer fled the scene of an accident involving bodily injury, along with driving on the highway while his license was suspended and revoked—each of which separately carry a maximum one-year sentence.
A plea arrangement extended by the prosecution called for a one-year suspended sentence, during which Davis would have to commit to 60 days of home confinement and work release. Davis was prepared to accept the plea and resume his boxing career, though it was deemed too lenient by the court after sympathizing with the remaining victim, Jyair Smith, who was pregnant at the time of the crash and told judge Phinn that she “begged Mr. Gervonta Davis; I looked him in his eyes. 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 of the crash].”
Judge Phinn agreed with the victim in deeming the plea agreement as unacceptable.
Davis previously rejected a similar plea agreement in March, which called for a one-year suspended sentence less 120 days in prison.
The alleged incident took place in the overnight hours of November 5, 2020, just days after Davis (27-0, 25KOs) scored a sixth-round knockout of Leo Santa Cruz atop an October 30 Showtime Pay-Per-View event.
According to court records, Davis was named by witnesses as the driver of a 2020 Lamborghini Uris which ran a red light and struck the passenger side of a 2004 Toyota Solara at 1:47 a.m. on November 5, 2020. A red light camera located at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 700 Washington Boulevard picked up the incident. Police officers responded to the incident in question at approximately 1:55 a.m.
Court records indicate that Smith’s vehicle was totaled in the crash. The Lamborghini—which was not registered to Davis—was abandoned after its contents were transferred to another vehicle in which Davis and an unidentified female left, according to witnesses and video obtained by investigators.
Four people were injured in the incident, though none were life threatening and all of whom were treated at University of Maryland Shock Trauma. As a result, each of the 14 original counts filed against Davis were classified as misdemeanors and not felony charges upon being filed by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office last March 22.
Among the initial charges were four counts of failure to immediately return and remain at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury. Three of the four victims have since reached civil settlements with Davis, who has yet to do so with Smith according to her attorney, Gil Amaral who demands that the boxer stand trial and—if found guilty—be dealt a punishment befitting the alleged crime.
“[Miss Smith] 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 judge Phinn on Wednesday, according to the Baltimore Banner.
The development comes after at least two separate postponements in a case now going on two years—though not Davis’ only legal battle, nor its oldest.
The unbeaten southpaw knockout artist—who turns 28 in November— is still the subject of an open court case in Miami, alleging two counts of misdemeanor battery, including simple battery domestic violence. The foundation of the charges come from video footage obtained from a charity basketball event which took place during Super Bowl week in Miami in early February 2020. Davis was arraigned on February 5, 2020, though with the case delayed several times.
The next trial date for that case is currently scheduled for October 6 at Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center in Dade County, with a Docket Sounding scheduled for September 29.
Davis’ legal battles continue as he awaits a next fight date in the ring. The heart of his prime has aired on Showtime platforms, including Showtime Pay-Per-View headliners in each of his last four starts. His last fight took place May 28 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Davis defended his secondary WBA lightweight title via sixth-round knockout of mandatory challenger Rolando Romero.
The fight with Romero was originally due to take place last December 5. Ironically, it was Romero who was pulled from the event following accusations of sexual assault from an incident alleged to have taken place more than two years prior. The matter officially became the subject of a police investigation with the Henderson (Nevada) Police Department in late October, roughly five weeks out from their PPV date, at which point a decision was made to have Romero removed from the event.
Romero was replaced by Isaac Cruz, whom Davis (27-0, 25KOs) outpointed over twelve rounds last December 5 at Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena) in Los Angeles. The distance fight ended Davis’ sixteen-fight knockout streak, though he still remains undefeated and among the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters.
Davis has fought three times since charges were brought against him in the hit-and-run incident in Baltimore, and four times since being charged with two counts of battery in Miami. All four fights have topped a Showtime PPV, which is expected to carry his next fight against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent later this year.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox