Angola Death Row (copy)

Louisiana State Penitentiary

Attorneys for a former Louisiana State Penitentiary guard facing a third federal trial next year in the 2014 beating of a handcuffed Angola inmate are considering asking for the trial to be moved outside the Baton Rouge area.

Ex-Angola Major Daniel Davis, of Loranger, was tried first in early 2018 and convicted of conspiring with several other corrections officers to cover up the brutal assault by filing false reports, tampering with witnesses and lying under oath.

However, that Baton Rouge federal court jury couldn't reach a verdict on whether Davis actually beat the inmate and a mistrial on that count was declared by U.S. District Judge John deGravelles.

At a second trial before a different Baton Rouge jury last fall, Davis was found guilty of that charge. But immediately after the verdict deGravelles learned that the jury foreman had informed fellow jurors during the trial that Davis had been tried before and convicted on some counts and that the second trial was a retrial.

That information hadn't been disclosed to the jury during the trial.

In late April, the judge threw out the conviction based on the improper juror comments and granted Davis a new trial.

That third trial, which was initially set for July 8, is now scheduled to begin Jan. 27.

In court papers filed Monday, Davis' attorneys raised the possibility of requesting a change of venue for the trial.

"Time and effort needs to be expended by counsel to research the efficacy of such a motion," lawyers Ian Hipwell and Andre Belanger wrote.

Three other former Angola guards have pleaded guilty in the case. John Sanders and James Savoy, both of Marksville, and Scott Kennedy, of Beebe, Arkansas, haven't been sentenced.

The inmate, who was handcuffed and shackled when the beating occurred, suffered fractured ribs, a punctured lung and dislocated shoulder, and other injuries.

He sued Davis, Sanders, Savoy and Kennedy, and the case was settled in 2016.

Sanders admitted he punched the inmate repeatedly in the head in retaliation for an earlier incident. Savoy admitted failing to intervene when he witnessed other guards using excessive force against the inmate. Kennedy pleaded guilty to depriving the prisoner of the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and to conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Sanders, Savoy and Kennedy were captains at Angola.

Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.