Demonstration for Harvest Davidson, trial held up years due to El Dorado DA’s failure to provide discovery

Robert J Hansen

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Tina Perry (top) speaking at a demonstration for her son, Harvest Davidson, at the El Dorado County DA's office on Monday, December 20, 2021(Photos by Robert J Hansen)

Sacramento, Calif. - By Robert J Hansen

A small demonstration was held at the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office in Placerville for Harvest Davidson, who has been awaiting trial for a 2016 incident, on Monday.

Davidson is charged with two counts of robbery and a murder charge for a 2016 marijuana deal turned into a murder involving several other people according to court records.

Tina Perry, Davidson’s mother, was joined by EMPACT founder Leia Schenk and about five other demonstrators.

Demonstrators chanted “no peace, no justice,” and “free Harvest Davidson,” outside of the front doors of the district attorney’s office.

“They have held my son for six whole years without providing the discovery that they know proves his innocence,” Perry said.

Schenk said she received a phone call from the district attorney’s office asking why Perry was there and what she wanted.

”They called me and asked why we’re here and what we wanted to achieve by being here. They know why we’re here. We are here for Harvest,” Schenk said.

Several law enforcement officers regularly drove near demonstrators while others were parked nearby, watching the small crowd throughout the demonstrators which lasted a couple of hours.

“They’re watching us from all over and keep coming around. You see how they are harassing us?” Perry said.

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El Dorado law enforcement watching demonstrators for Harvest Davidson (bottom right) on Monday, December 20, 2021.(Photos by Robert J Hansen)

El Dorado County Deputy attorney Casey Mandrel took over as prosecuting attorney for the County and requested the case go to trial several times this year, most recently on December 7, 2021.

This despite the defense not receiving thousands of pages of the discovery file according to Davidson’s attorney, Hayes Gable.

Deputy Mandrel nor the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office were asked for comment.

Defense Attorney Gable is Davidson’s fourth attorney and has been requesting over 4000 pages of missing discovery since January 2021 according to court records.

“We’re calling for all charges to be dropped because of the Brady violation. I’m following the law,” Perry said.

The missing discovery is the primary reason why the case has not been set for trial, being delayed for over five years.

After being assigned to the case, Gable received the discovery from the prior counsel and noticed the missing pages.

“After reviewing the discovery, it was discovered that a large number of pages were inexplicably missing. I informed the deputy district attorney, Mr. Mandrell that this was the case by email on July 20, 2021,” Gable said.

Gable said that Unless until the prosecution produces all the discovery or provides a believable explanation of why there are gaps in the page numbering, the defense will be moving for dismissal.

“The dilemma here is that this case has been pending since February 2016. Complete discovery should have been provided years ago,” Gable said in a motion request to the court on November 7, 2021.

The 1963 Brady rule requires prosecutors to disclose materially exculpatory evidence in the government's possession to the defense.

If the prosecution does not disclose material exculpatory evidence under this rule, and prejudice has ensued, the evidence will be suppressed. The evidence will be suppressed regardless of whether the prosecutor knew the evidence was in his or her possession, or whether or not the prosecutor intentionally or inadvertently withheld the evidence from the defense according to Cornell Law School.

However, after Betty Williams, President of the Sacramento NAACP called Attorney Gable, he received some of the missing discovery according to Perry.

Williams has been unavailable to confirm this.

Gable was also unavailable for comment and his investigator, Lisa Gara, said the council has no comment when asked for an update on the case.

As of December 17, 2021, Davidson has served 70 months in Eldorado County jail.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA
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