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Appeals court splits in Wausau man's case


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A state appeals court has overturned a Wausau man’s conviction that his negligent handling of a pistol in 2006 put others in danger.

The Third District Court of Appeals ruled that prosecutors did not show any evidence to prove that Nakiea Davis actually handled the 9 millimeter semiautomatic weapon or that his handling posed an unreasonable and substantial risk of harm to others.

“Absent any evidence of Davis’s handling of the P38 prior to dropping, must less the likelihood of discharge when dropped, the jury could only speculate whether Davis handled the pistol with the requisite lack of care,” the three-judge panel wrote.

Davis had claimed that he was with two friends near 7th and Franklin Streets in downtown Wausau when he found the weapon and picked it up. It fell and went off without anyone pulling the trigger as he got into the passenger side of a car. Davis was shot in the calf and his friends drove him to the hospital.

In its decision, the appeals court upheld Davis’ conviction for possession of cocaine. The court ruled that the state did show enough evidence to prove that Davis was in control of 12 individually wrapped baggies of cocaine found in the vehicle.

Davis was sentenced in 2009 to four years in prison and four years extended supervision on the drug charge. He received a nine-month jail sentence for the weapon charge that ran concurrent with the drug sentence.

Circuit Judge Vincent Howard has already ordered a new trial on two felony bail jumping charges. The trial is scheduled for April 5th.