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Davis starting his life over

Cory Davis, found not guilty, works to rebuild his life

Jeannie Barton-Northrup,

Courvoisier “Cory” Davis has first-hand knowledge that criminal charges can affect a person’s life far into the future.

Davis dropped by the Daily Journal office some weeks ago to see what could be done to keep a particular news article from popping up during an internet search of his name. The article, more than 20 years old, is about a murder charge for which Davis was found not guilty.

Courvoisier Davis is pictured with his sister and mother. (Submitted photo)

Although the Daily Journal wrote an article about Davis’s not-guilty verdict, Google searches tend to bring up the earlier piece. It is against Daily Journal — and many other newspapers’— policy to take down stories from its website except in extreme cases, and reports on court proceedings do not fall into that category.

Because Davis was found not guilty, the case does not appear on Missouri Case Net.

Davis said he has been refused employment because potential employers saw the article and read it. He says the only way an employer can find the information is through the internet, and he would like the report to be one of the more obscure articles rather than a prominent one.

“It would be different if I was guilty,” said Davis.

According to Davis, an article about something he didn’t do should not follow him for the rest of his life.

About 15 articles were written by the Daily Journal about the case, including a report about his acquittal. However, only one story concerning the trial shows up in an internet search. Davis claims being accused of something he didn’t do has also impacted his life in other ways.

He said one positive outcome is that he taught himself to read and write during his nearly five years in prison while he waited for trial. Even though Davis attended high school, he claims he was not taught reading and writing due to a learning disability that developed from an accident involving bug spray when he was 3 or 4 years old.

Davis described his efforts in trying to get his life back together after his acquittal in 2001. He said attempting to get on with life in St. Francois County was difficult because the not-guilty verdict was either not accepted or unknown, and people were always wary of him. Davis claims that he developed mental health issues around this time and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He said it was a difficult time, and he relied heavily on his mother and sister for emotional support.

Davis’s sister, Geraldine “GiGi,” died on May 11, 2007. Davis admits he allowed the death of his sister to send his life into free fall. Unfortunately, Davis claims he went into a manic state fueled by drugs. In Davis’s account of events, he and his long-time girlfriend fought horribly, and he left the residence intent on committing suicide by running his truck into the most solid object he could find.

He only succeeded in causing property damage and damaging his truck enough to disable it, so he decided to return home. Davis said his girlfriend would not allow him into the home when he returned. He claimed she did the right thing by not letting him in and that he was not in his right mind when he decided to kick in the door.

According to Davis, when he entered the home, he saw his girlfriend usher their children into a bedroom before going in behind them. Davis admitted to making yet another terrible decision to kick down the bedroom door. He said he will never forget seeing his oldest daughter fly across the room and land on the bed, and regrets his decision. Davis’s decisions that day cost him his family and freedom for the next seven or eight years before he was released to serve the rest of his 15-year sentence on parole.

Missouri Case Net does not show any charges against Davis since his parole in 2017. He said he is enrolled in college classes this fall for business management and is hopeful to start a retail business and a construction company in St. Francois County. Davis says he wants people to understand that he just wants to start over. He says that despite his difficulties in St. Francois County, he likes the area and would like to be accepted.